September 3, 2007

Signs of hope

AUBURN, Ala. �" First, the bad news. Kansas State jetted out of the land of War Eagle on Saturday night with a 0-1 record. There were no consolation prizes for going toe-to-toe with the 14th-ranked Auburn Tigers in a 23-13 loss at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Lose by 50, lose by five, it goes down as a loss. The first bit of good news for Ron Prince’s Wildcats is the bad news ends there.

The Wildcats left Auburn healthy, proven, confident and not a team to take much consolation in looking good on national television. They know they lost on ESPN, and it was a game they should have won.

“We’ve just got to learn to finish,” said senior receiver Jordy Nelson, who led the Wildcats with nine catches for 90 yards. “If we you want to be one of the best teams in the country you have to learn how to play a whole game.”

Great teams don’t give up two touchdowns in the final 2:01. That happens to teams that aren’t quite good enough, but if the Wildcats learned one thing from their loss at Auburn, it’s that they are very close to being able to beat good teams on their home field. Very close.

"You would like to be able for the kids to go away and know that they can play with Auburn,” Prince said. “You don't come to a place like this and expect them to give you the game, you have to take it.

“When you go on the road, it’s a heavyweight fight and you have to knock the champ out.”

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