Cat's Roar: K-State offense needs to get out of 'slow-mo' quicker this coming week
The 4-3 Kansas State Wildcats are coming off an 25-24 comeback win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders last Saturday. This Saturday K-State will host the TCU Horned Frogs at 2:30 in Bill Snyder Family Stadium for its annual Homecoming game. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
The Wildcats were hoping to again avoid a slow start but again the failed that test. After getting the ball after the opening kickoff Tech scored in just two plays and only 30 seconds into the game. On the ensuing kickoff, junior Malik Knowles fumbled and this time it took the Red Raiders six plays to score another touchdown and they would now lead 14-0 before KSU even ran an offensive play. After the teams traded punts, the Wildcat offense would put together an impressive 19-play drive that took over 10 minutes and finished with sophomore Deuce Vaughn 1-yard touchdown run to make it 14-7 early in the second quarter. TTU responded with a 10-play drive to again push the lead to 14 points. Each team added a field goal so they would go into halftime with Texas Tech up 24-10.
K-State would open the second half with a three-and-out, but senior Ty Zentner pinned the Red Raiders down at the 4-yard line. The next play sophomore defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah pushed the Tech offensive tackle back into the end zone and he also would tackle the Red Raider running back for a safety. KSU would then go 69 yards in just 6-plays for a touchdown and suddenly, the score was 24-19. After a TTU punt the Wildcats would again drive down field but this time after a pass completion inside the 20-yard line senior tight end Nick Lenners fumbled and the Red Raiders would recover ant d that would pretty much end the third quarter as the Wildcats were within five points. Tech would move the ball into K-State territory, but the Wildcat defense forced a turnover on downs. Senior quarterback Skylar Thompson would get sacked two straight times to put the Wildcats into a 3rd-and-34 hole. A completion to Landry Weber wasn’t enough for a first down but a personal foul and Tech was. Thompson would throw the ball five straight times and he completed four of them including a 22-yard pass and run to Vaught which gave the Wildcats there first lead of the game 25-24. Tech would get the ball with 6:09 left and would move the ball past midfield. The Tech offense faced a 3rd and 8 at the Wildcat 44-yard line but a sack for a loss of 8 yards by Anudike-Uzomah would make it 4th and 16. Redshirt freshman Nate Matlack would stop the quarterback for no gain and the Wildcats would take over and be able to run out the clock.
After the disastrous start K-State did outscore Tech 25-10. The defense only gave up 37 yards in the third quarter, and 76 in the fourth; 28 of that 76 was on one play. That’s 113 second half yards for Texas Tech, a team with a very potent offense. K-State had 17 first downs on the day compared to Tech’s 14, the Wildcats also outgained Tech 377 to 318. Thompson completed 24 of his 30 pass attempts on the day for 296 yards and a touchdown. Vaughn didn’t get much going on the ground but did have 7 catches on the day. Junior Phillip Brooks had 5 receptions on the day while Weber had three. Senior linebacker Cody Fletcher and junior Daniel Green each had six tackles while Anudike-Uzomah had five including one of the most important of the day.
The TCU Horned Frogs are 3-4 on the season and 1-3 in Big 12 play. They beat Texas Tech 52-31 on October 9th and then lost to Oklahoma 52-31 and last Saturday West Virginia beat them in Fort Worth 29-17. In Big 12 games only, TCU is 5th in scoring at 31.8 points a game while KSU is 8th at 24. The Wildcat defense is allowing 31.3 points a game 6th best and one spot behind is TCU allowing 36. The Horned Frog offense is 4th in gaining 442 yards of which 223.8 is on the ground is leads the Big 12 and they are 9th in passing rushing for 219 yards. The KSU offense is 9th at 349 yards of which only 94.8 is on the ground which is last in the Big 12 but they rank 5th in passing at 255 yards a game. The KSU defense is 5th allowing 402 yards, 162 on the ground and 240 from the air which ranks 6th in both categories. TCU defense is in last allowing almost 500 yards a game, they are 9th in rushing defense allowing 236.3 yards while they are 7th allowing almost 260 yards a game through the air.
This Saturday the Wildcats will try to win its second game in a row and just like last week it will probably not be easy. Both teams have struggled at times stopping their opponents, but K-State is a little better on the defensive side of the ball than TCU. This game will most likely come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes. Special teams for the Wildcats along with home field advantage will be enough for the Wildcats to grab its second straight win. Kansas State 37, TCU 27. Go ‘Cats!!!!!