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Defending Big 12 champion K-State left to lick wounds after opening loss to North Dakota State

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder had just emerged from a somber postgame locker room when he stepped to the podium. The first words that he said, entirely unprompted, spoke volumes.

"Now will you believe me when I say we're not very good?" he asked. "Been trying to tell you."

While the defending Big 12 champion Wildcats were licking their wounds deep within the Vanier Football Complex, two-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State was still on the field in the stadium that bears Snyder's name, celebrating the biggest win in school history.

There was no smoke and mirrors behind the Bison's 24-21 triumph Friday night, either. They outplayed the Wildcats most of the night, and then added injury to insult with a bruising, 18-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up 8½ minutes and ended with the go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown.