Klein was exactly right. But on this day that the Wildcats played losing football for the majority of the evening, it was Klein and Harper working their pass-and-catch magic for 33 yards and a touchdown giving K-State its first lead of the night, 10-7, with 1:39 left in the 2011 season opener.
Held out of the end zone the first 13 possessions, Klein said of the 11-play, 86-yard drive, "We all looked at each other like, ‘This is our time. We have put it off long enough.' It was one of those things that I know we'll learn from."
Harper said of what proved to be the game-winning play, "I got him on his toes and was able to get past him. It's something that we tried to set up all night." For most of this night it was a display of futility on the Purple's part, but also one of figuring out a way to win.
• K-State turned the ball over five times – four lost fumbles and an interception – but the defense bailed the Wildcats out each time as of Eastern Kentucky's 14 possessions, offense 14 times, four series resulted in negative-yards, and five others no more than eight yards.
"The great thing about our defense is we kept our composure," said linebacker Arthur Brown, who led the team with seven tackles. Snyder added, "Our pass rush was good and we played reasonably well against the run, but we missed some tackles."
• The special team play included a muffed punt by Tysyn Hartman, Ryan Doerr had a punt blocked that went just 15 yards, Marc St. Felix was guilty of blocking in the back on a punt return, and, Anthony Cantele missed a relatively short 36-yard field goal.
"I told the team that they were very blessed and we were the most fortunate people in the state of Kansas," said Snyder after the win.
Individually, the play was like the overall team.
• Cornerback Nigel Malone did not make a tackle, but did have two interceptions.
• Quarterback Klein had passed for just 95 yards until the 33-yard TD strike to Harper in the final 99 seconds in the game.
• The offense had the ball 15 times with 13 of those generating less than 40 yards, but in the end, there was the game-deciding 11-play, 86-yard drive.
• K-State had 21 plays that netted zero, or negative yards, yet the offense found a way to total 303 yards in total offense. Speaking of the offense, Klein said, "It obviously wasn't where we hoped to be." But then he added, "Hats off to our defense for their performance when we needed it."
And, it was Klein who came through when the ‘Cats most needed him to: "I think he played with poise," said Snyder. "He never backs down from his leadership. He is always stepping forward and he cares about his team."
• It was the first scoreless first half of football that K-State was involved in since last year against Central Florida, and it marked the first time that K-State was involved in a 0-0 tie at half time since 1993 against Kansas.
• K-State has now scored in 178 consecutive games … the 10th longest string in the nation.
• Emmanuel Lamur and Tysyn Hartman suffered undisclosed injuries that forced them out of the game. Snyder declined to comment on the seriousness of the injuries.
• Tyler Lockett was the lone true-freshman to see action. The son of former Wildcat Kevin Lockett and the nephew of Aaron Lockett, the newest Lockett caught two passes for 25 yards and returned a pair of punts for 13 yards.