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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Bill Snyder has changed little since his arrival at Kansas State more than 20 years ago, his focus always on in-house preparation and consistency across the board.
He also disdains mental mistakes and penalties.
"One little detail and he's not going to let it slide," quarterback Jake Waters explained. "He's so detailed oriented, so knowing that with one little mistake, you know you're going to hear about it. That should motivate you to minimize those mistakes and penalties."
Snyder was blunt in assessment of No. 19 Kansas State's come-from-behind win over Iowa State on Saturday, and his feelings hadn't changed a whole lot by midweek.
There were 10 penalties, including five illegal procedures, a costly pass interference call in the end zone and a facemask penalty that all conspired to put the Wildcats in a big hole.
Just about the only thing that didn't go wrong were turnovers. Kansas State didn't have any, while Iowa State threw an interception near midfield that scuttled a promising drive.
Despite the mistakes, Snyder was pleased with Kansas State's resiliency in battling back.
"There were some certain things that I didn't see through the course of the game that I did see on video tape," Snyder said. "Still, I don't know how pleasantly surprised I was, but on the positive side of it, it does have a meaningful impact on the quality of the character of the young people in our program."
Kansas State was still trailing 28-26 with 3:01 remaining when it took over possession at its own 20-yard line. Seven plays later, Waters was barreling into the end zone from 8 yards out for the go-ahead touchdown — the eventual game-winner, as it turned out.
"I think it showed great toughness, resiliency," Wildcats offensive lineman Boston Stiverson said. "We came together as a team. That is a team-effort win. It shows that even if we are not playing well and making mistakes, we can fight through adversity and come out with a win."
The Wildcats (2-0, 1-0 Big 12) are off this week before welcoming fifth-ranked Auburn to town next Thursday night. And that gives Snyder extra time to clean up the mistakes.
"It will be here in a heartbeat," he said. "There is no doubt about that. We have to be awfully careful about not putting things off. It is our intent to treat this week like it is game week as much as possible. I am sure with our players and my interest right now is correcting mistakes and making improvements by each individual in the program."
That includes Waters, his senior quarterback, who called the review of game film from Iowa State an eye-opening experience for a team with Big 12 title aspirations.
"Just watching that film, we learned so much X's and O's wise and about ourselves as a team," Waters said. "Going through what we go through on the road in a hostile environment, being down and showing how resilient we are to come back and win. Those teaching moments, luckily we had it in a win and we're going to grow from that, too."