October 29, 2006

Prince's Cats respond against Iowa State

Two days after his predecessor offered a public note of support, first-year Kansas State head coach Ron Prince saw his team come through with a 31-10 win over Iowa State in its most decided victory over a quality opponent in 2006. Now one victory separates the Wildcats from a bowl berth - something they didn't achieve in the final two years under Bill Snyder. Not bad for a period of transition.

Coming off back-to-back losses to No. 21 Nebraska and No. 24 Missouri, in which they were outscored by a combined 62-24, the Wildcats were scrutinized by media and fans alike. Like their last-place preseason projection in the North, such criticism - "whoever is responsible for giving Prince a five-year contract should be fired," read one letter in the Manhattan Mercury last Tuesday -- apparently fell upon Prince's deaf ears.

But senior weakside linebacker and two-time co-captain Brandon Archer called Snyder's letter "definitely a nice thing to do," adding, "I don't know if the transition was as smooth as it needed to be as far as a fan-type relationship."

Following what Prince called "the best week of practice we've had," the Wildcats started slow then showed they could make a smooth transition from Missouri to Iowa State. All Prince did was guide the Wildcats to their largest margin of victory in the Big 12 since a 24-point win over Nebraska in 2004 as they surrendered the second-fewest points in 20 league games.

"I think our fans have been terrific," Prince said. "They have been very positive and I appreciate that."

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