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The season may have ended in a painful fashion, but this was still a hell of a season from a hell of a team.
I apologize for the lateness of this post. There's been a lot going on, and well, there aren't a whole lot of positives to write about this game.
But that doesn't change the fact that this group put together an amazing effort all year long and surprised almost everyone, myself included. It sucks that Collin Klein's last pass as a Kansas State Wildcat was an interception, but I'm pretty sure once the dust settles we'll all remember the good times a lot more than the bad.
Chris Harper may not have gotten redemption against his former team, but he certainly turned in a performance that reminded us all how valuable he was and how much he'll be missed, with a team-high 8 catches for 71 yards. Angelo Pease ran as hard as he ever has in his final game as a Wildcat, but the holes weren't there, though no one is going to blame the effort of Braden Wilson and Travis Tannehill, two guys whose productivity and dedication often went unheralded in their crucial blocking roles.
Defensively, the 'Cats actually did an admirable job of containing Oregon's explosive attack, and I expect it surprised absolutely no one that seniors Meshak Williams and Arthur Brown were the ones leading the charge, with nine tackles each. Adam Davis will be missed on the line, and though Ty Zimmerman's return made a big difference, the secondary wouldn't have been (and won't be) the same without Allen Chapman and Nigel Malone.
I'm still not sure why Ryan Doerr got the opportunity to kick his last punt in a situation that seemed to be go for fourth down or give up, but we're all well aware of the huge role he played on this team all year long. Anthony Cantele caused his share of frustration throughout his career, including his missed field goal tonight, but he also did some great things and you simply have to respect a guy who had the courage to tweet this about K-State's loss:
Thanks to everyone who made this year and last 4 years so special. Especially the fans. Sorry we couldn't finish. Love you all! #EMAW
So feel free to whine about Kansas State's poor execution or playcalling here all you want, or even speculate on why things seem to go so wrong almost every year for Snyder in bowl games. But before you do, don't forget what this coach, and this team, and all of these players have done for us this season, and all the joy they've brought along with the agony we're feeling right now.