Cat's Roar: Wildcat offense struggles to get going against Iowa State in hometown game

Doug Will
Pratt Tribune
Iowa State Cyclones running back Breece Hall (28) finds a hole in the Kansas State Wildcats defense during the third quarter, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.

The Kansas State Wildcats, losers of the first three Big 12 games, will go to western Texas this Saturday where they will take on the 5-2 Red Raiders of Texas Tech. The game will kickoff at 11:00 in Lubbock, Texas and will be televised on FS1.

K-State, currently 3-3 overall, are coming off a 33-20 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones in a game that never felt very close. The first offensive play of the game set the tone for this contest so after the opening kickoff went out of the end zone the Cyclones would start on the 25-yard line and running back Breece Hall would take a simple handoff to the right side of his offensive line and found a huge hole and he went 75 yards, nearly untouched to make it 6-0 Iowa State. And from there things would get worse for the Wildcats.

Kansas State did have more 1st downs than Iowa State 21-19, but the Cyclones outgained the Wildcats 418 to 342 yards. The 342 yards was the first time this year that an opponent of ISU has put up more than 300 yards so there is the positive item from the game. Super senior Skylar Thompson completed 15 of his 23 pass attempts with an interception for 206 yards. Junior Philip Brooks, senior Malik Knowles, and sophomore Duece Vaughn each had three catches on the day with Brooks and Knowles also grabbing a touchdown. Vaughn would rush for 87 on 18 carries with his longest run only going 12 yards. Senior strong Safety Jahron McPherson had seven tackles including 5 solo stops while junior middle linebacker Daniel Green had 6 stops with five of them being solo tackles.

The 5-2 Texas Tech Red Raiders have played four Big 12 games losing their first one to Texas 70-35 then beating West Virginia 23-20. Two weeks ago, TCU ran all over them for a 52-31 loss and last week they beat the Kansas Jayhawks 41-14 in a game in which KU scored their 2 touchdowns in the last minute of the game. Tech is averaging 32.5 points a game in Big 12 games which puts them 6th. They are averaging 463.5 yards a game which is 4th in the Conference, and they pass for a Big 12 best 297 yards a game they throw the ball 34 times a game and they are completing almost 67% of their passes. The defense is giving up 39 points which is second to last and they allow 458 yards a game which put them in seventh place, and they are allowing 242 yards a game on the ground which is also second to last.

The Wildcats are mired in an 8-game conference losing streak dating back to last year and look little like the team that started the season 3-0. But coming up is a stretch of four very winnable games starting this Saturday in Lubbock. The Wildcats need and must get the running game going with Vaughn and fellow sophomore Joe Ervin and this will be the perfect opportunity. K-State should be able to gash the Raider defense and when that happens the Purple offense looks very good. The Wildcat defense will again get tested and will need to tackle like they did the first three games to slow down Tech. I predict the Wildcats finally win a Big 12 game and do it going away. Kansas State 41, Texas Tech 24. Go ‘Cats!!!!