By Kevin Haskin
From The Topeka-Capital Journal
January 2, 2001
The fifth-year senior quarterback booted a perfect pooch punt 27 yards that stopped dead at the Tennessee 4.
Although UT tailback Travis Henry busted an 81-yard touchdown run three plays later, it hardly mattered with only 2:44 remaining Saturday. Beasley had guaranteed K-State a victory by producing 308 yards himself as the Wildcats thumped the Vols 35-21 in the Cotton Bowl.
"I knew this would be my last ballgame and we focused all week on just executing," Beasley said. "It's great for this program beating a great-tradition team like Tennessee. A lot of people say K-State can't play in big games against great teams, but we went out and proved we could."
Beasley wasted no time, either.
He directed the Cats to a 74-yard touchdown drive on their second possession, capping it with a 14-yard scramble. He also fired TD passes of 56 and 10 yards to Quincy Morgan before the first half had ended.
For a guy who has run hot and cold throughout his two-year stint as the Cats' starter, Beasley picked a good game to thaw out despite 29-degree temperatures and a field that was covered by a thin coat of snow before it wore off with the orange imprints the Cats left by relentlessly mashing the Vols.
"Kudos to the offensive line, because when we were dropping back to pass, they'd didn't hit me too many times," added Beasley, who went 13 of 27 for 210 yards and added 98 yards on the ground. "They made a great statement for this team."
Listening to the Wildcats, they were tickled to see their quarterback rebound after throwing for only 106 yards in their loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.
"A lot of people outside the program look at him and say Jonathan is not getting it done," said junior running back Josh Scobey, who led the Cats' rushers with 147 yards. "But he got it done today. Even when it isn't so obvious, he's doing things you don't always see as a leader on this team."
"Beasley hopes he left a memorable imprint, leading the Wildcats to their first New Year's Day victory and an 11-3 record as he went out with a 22-4 mark over the past two seasons.
"I hope people see me as just a guy who went out and did things the way they're supposed to be done, doing things right and being on time," Beasley said.
"My teammates know that by doing things the right way, you can get to where we are. Being the first Kansas State quarterback to go 2-0 in bowl games is just unbelievable. That just puts a big grin on your face."
Especially when his pooch punt capped it all off.
"When I first started doing it in practice, I'd kick it through the uprights," Beasley said. "After a while, the coaches were shaking their heads and telling me, 'This is a pooch punt. You've got to put it at the 5.' So, I'd work on it once a week and I did it in the Oklahoma game and again today."
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