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It wasn't pretty, but it was effective. The Wildcats avoid the trap leading into next week's big shootout.
Let's get this out of the way right from the outset: with the exception of a couple of blunders by Tremaine Thompson and a couple of boneheaded errors by Braden Wilson, this was a great effort by the guys in uniform. The coaching staff, on the other hand, is going to have some things to answer for -- things they need to correct post-haste because the 'Cats can't afford to stumble around next week.
Autobot Collin Klein had another exemplary day; his passing efficiency wasn't great, but he was effective (especially dumping off on third down). He appeared to be more comfortable running through his progressions than he normally does, and of course there were the three touchdowns and another 100-yard game. Hubert "only" had 79 on the day, but you can't have everything. The offensive line had a great day, by my estimation, giving Klein both time to throw when needed and clearing space for him to slip through on delayed reads.
Defensively, we still have the 3rd-and-long problem, but I'm starting to lay that more on the coaching staff's tactics than on the players themselves. When you see the secondary giving a seven-yard cushion on 3rd-and-5, it's hard to blame them. The problem is from above. There were several great defensive stands, however, none moreso than the final one which secured the victory.
As for the coaching... there were a ton of mindbogglingly stupid decisions today. The first half might be somewhat excusable, insofar as there were apparently communication problems between the press box and the sideline. But this nonsense of having Klein still trying to get a play from the sideline with five seconds to snap has to stop. Snyder trusts Collin; if things are that close to the wire, just have him call a play, for cryin' out loud. The decision to punt prior to the Cyclones' final possession still baffles me, you, and everyone else on the planet; in retrospect, I can buy that Snyder's idea was that Jared Barnett would simply fold under the pressure, which was correct, but still.
It's a win, though, and now we're 6-0, bowl-eligible, and about to face the biggest game we've played in almost a decade. Let's just hope the coaching staff has the game plan down perfectly, otherwise we're in trouble.