Alright. That’s quite enough of that. These down to the wire games are going to kill off half of the K-State fanbase with cardiac arrest, brain aneurysms, or any other medical issue that results from heart rates hitting all time highs. The Wildcats pulled out yet another game against Texas, but made sure to leave everyone on pins on needles all the way to the end. It was ugly, it was horrible, it probably made small children cry but in the end the Wildcats are 9-2 and have only Iowa State left between them and a double digit win season. Continue reading to see what was good, bad, and ugly from the night deep in the heart of Texas.
Defense Wins Championships… The Wildcat defense is the sole reason for getting another win and extending the streak over the Longhorns to 4. Texas was held to 310 yards of total offense. The 192 yards of rushing could be lived without but at every turn of the game, K-State’s defensive unit stepped it up when necessary. Ty Zimmerman and Emmanuel Lamur picked off passes from David Ash, which got him benched, and the lone sack by Adam Davis came at a key time in the game giving the ball back to K-State to try and run the clock out. The defensive had to be on the field for 32 minutes and endure plenty of short, ugly drives by the offensive and still came out on top. Preserving the win actually might prove to allow K-State to split a championship if Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State and all 3 teams finish with 2 losses in conference play.
Baby Huey… John Hubert normally finishes games with less carries and less yards than Collin Klein but on a night when the norm wasn’t able to get going, Hubert put the team on his shoulders. It didn’t show in the stat line, (12 carries for 32 yards) but Hubert never quits. Twice, Hubert made big plays that kept K-State alive. The first came early in the fourth quarter on a screen pass. Hubert was first grabbed a good 3 yards short of the first down but continued to chug and ended up falling just over the first down line extending the drive. The second came on a 2nd and 9 play with about 1:30 remaining in the game. Again, Hubert was stopped well short but kept driving his legs and gained enough to give K-State a 3rd and short, not that they did anything with it. Hubert constantly gives maximum effort and seems to always fall forward for extra yards.
Running Team?… Everyone on earth understands what the Wildcats do. They run the ball. So why is it that in more than one game this season, the first possession of the game has been full of passes? Against Texas, the opening offensive series was 3 pass plays, 1 that went backwards, 1 incompletion, 1 sack, -5 yards, and lasted all of 1:33. The next drive after an interception saw 7 straight rushes but possession number three returned to the air. 2 incomplete passes and a QB draw went nowhere and again, it only took 1:04 off the clock. Trying to open up the defense is fine but maybe the best time to do it isn’t during the first possession of a tough road game.
Klein Passing… After a career best passing game against A&M, Klein went way backwards against Texas. Plenty of that could be blamed on an offensive line that decided to quit blocking for a game, but there were also some mistakes that are all on Mr. Klein. The biggest might have been overthrowing WR Sheldon Smith. Smith put a great double move on the defender who actually fell down and found himself 5 good yards behind the closest Texas player. All Klein needed to do was drop the ball within 3 yards of Smith but instead the ball sailed and 6 points were wiped off the board. Another huge mistake that keeps showing its ugly head is Klein taking sacks when he should throw the ball away. It makes sense that he looks to extend the play at all costs but there needs to be some serious discussion this week about the benefit of not losing 5 yards for the Wildcat offense.
Offensive Line – Usually it isn’t possible to win without a center, 2 guards, and 2 tackles but K-State figured out how to do just that. Grading out the line is going to be a nasty exercise this weekend and you gotta feel sorry for game film review time. The line was porous all night long and allowed Texas to have it’s way defensively. The usually potent rushing attack was gone and the front five looked confused all night long.
Offense… 4 of 16 on third downs, 28 minutes of possession, 83 yards passing, and 38 yards rushing. That’s right; 38 yards rushing. Probably don’t need to explain this anymore.