The mid-2000s was a transitional interval for the Kansas State soccer crew. Following an 11-win season and a Massive 12 Championship in 2003, this system skilled back-to-back disappointing seasons in 2004 and 2005 since many earlier key stars graduated or moved on to the NFL.
In 2005, Ok-State completed 5-6, lacking a bowl sport for the second straight season in what can be the ultimate yr of the primary Invoice Snyder period at Ok-State. In November 2005, Snyder introduced his first retirement from the college, forcing Ok-State to discover a new head soccer coach for the primary time in nearly 20 years.
The Wildcats determined to pursue College of Virginia offensive coordinator and Kansas native Ron Prince to be their new head coach. Prince attended highschool in Junction Metropolis earlier than taking part in offensive deal with at Appalachian State.
On Dec. 3, 2005, the college introduced the hiring of 36-year-old Prince as their new head soccer coach.
The crew would additionally rent new coordinators — on offense with James Franklin, the present head soccer coach at Penn State College, and on protection with the addition of Raheem Morris, the present defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams.
The largest addition to the 2006 season for the Wildcats was a quarterback from Kansas Metropolis named Josh Freeman. A standout at Grandview Excessive Faculty, Freeman initially dedicated to the College of Nebraska, however recommitted to Ok-State as an alternative.
Freeman started the season as backup to the late Dylan Meier, as Ok-State gained their first three video games of the Prince period. Following a loss to Louisville and a sluggish begin in an eventual loss to Baylor, Freeman changed Meier because the starter and began the ultimate eight video games of the 2006 season.
Although he threw extra interceptions than touchdowns in 2006 — 15 interceptions to six landing passes — Freeman set a Ok-State passing file for freshman quarterbacks, throwing for 1,780 yards.
In late October, Freeman led Ok-State to back-to-back victories over Iowa State and Colorado. Towards Colorado, Freeman solely threw 4 incompletions, throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-21 victory.
With a 6-4 file, Ok-State entered their subsequent matchup in opposition to the fourth ranked crew within the nation, the Texas Longhorns. Ok-State hadn’t performed Texas since their 2003 Massive 12 Championship season, and the Wildcats hadn’t crushed them because the 1999 season.
The Longhorns, led by freshman quarterback Colt McCoy and sophomore working again and future NFL All-Professional Jamaal Charles, entered the sport at 9-1 on the season. They appeared properly on their approach to one other Massive 12 championship.
Within the early phases of the sport, Texas appeared near victory, as they scored a landing on a one yard run by McCoy. Nonetheless, McCoy was injured on the play, forcing the Longhorns to go to backup quarterback Jevan Snead.
Ok-State responded on their subsequent possession as Freeman hit Yamon Figurs for a 36-yard landing, tying the sport at seven.
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After a Charles landing run reestablished the Longhorns lead early within the second quarter, Freeman threw one other landing move, finishing a 33-yarder to James Johnson to tie the sport at 14.
Ok-State then took a 21-14 lead going into halftime due to a Leon Patton eight-yard landing run.
Within the third quarter, Ok-State exploded with 21 unanswered factors following a gap drive landing from Texas. Freeman threw a 71-yard landing move to Figurs, ran for an additional rating and Patton threw an 18-yard landing move to Cedric Wilson. With a 42-21 lead coming into the fourth, the Wildcats appeared like they have been on their approach to a shocking upset.
The defending nationwide champions didn’t give up, scoring 21 factors within the fourth quarter to chop the result in three, however it wasn’t sufficient as Ok-State held on for the 45-42 upset victory.
Freeman completed with 269 yards passing and three landing passes within the victory whereas Figurs hauled in six receptions for 123 yards and two scores. The Wildcat protection bent however didn’t break, holding Charles underneath 100 yards dashing.
Freeman went on to turn out to be a first-round draft decide of the Buccaneers in 2009. Whereas he had a largely unremarkable NFL profession, he’s nonetheless top-of-the-line statistical quarterbacks in Ok-State historical past and holds the single-game file for passing yards with 478.
Together with his many nice statistical video games as a Wildcat, Freeman holds a particular spot in Ok-State historical past for his efficiency on one very particular evening in 2006.