Before we talk about this game, it needs to be recognized that during KU’s noon game they took a 14-7 lead against #22 Texas into the fourth quarter. Texas rallied to score two touchdowns to KU’s lone field goal in the final quarter and eked out a 21-17 victory. To those Longhorn fans still in denial, you’re not rooting for a good team. It baffles me how this team demonstrates so much ineptitude with so many five star recruits, but there it is. For the record, K-State plays one game in December. It’s at home. Against Texas. Following a bye week to prepare. Get excited.
Texas Tech received the opening kick off and left the Wildcats looking rather hapless on their initial drive. They were agressive, and called eight passes before their first run. K-State failed to generate much pressure, and this team may need a couple blitz packages moving forward to force Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege into bad decisions. The up-tempo attack ended in a 32-yard pass to state the game.
I liked K-State’s play calling on its first drive. A Hubert run up the middle with three running backs in the backfield, and a short pass that still had the team bunched together. Then they split four wide and had an easy pass for first down. They were held to a punt on the next set of downs, but it was a good mix of varied personnel. Klein had one very good and one very bad play on the drive. On a pass to the middle of the field, he leaves the receiver out to dry, just standing around with three defenders closing in. Hard hit, and it left him vulnerable to injury. On third down, Klein was sacked, but he prevented a fumble. He was holding the ball high and the defender got a hand on it, but Klein was strong enough to pull it down and prevent the turnover. It was a bad play, but he prevented it from being an awful one.
Texas Tech’s second drive looked a little better for the Wildcats. Tech was moving the ball, but at least there was presuure being applied. K-State only allowed one first down and recorded its first sack of the game. It woud go on to get an even bigger one (see below), but the pass protection for Tech has been stellar on the whole.
Big play of the game: Meshak Williams nails Doege for a sack/forced fumble. Jarell Childs recovers and returns it for a touchdown, but its called back due to an illegal block. In a weird turn of events, a Texas Tech coach was called for interference on the play by running into a referee, making the 15 yard penalties offsetting and giving K-State the ball on the 14. This does more than just get the ball back to K-State – it dramatically shifted momentum. Any objective observer would recognize that the Red Raiders have been outplaying Kansas State in this first quarter. They’re moving the ball and doing everything West Virginia was supposed to be able to do: nail short passes of 5-7 yard, have receivers run for another 2-3, and consistently getting first downs.
As we conclude this first quarter of play, K-State is behind 7-3. On third and three Klein launches a pass to the end zone, his receiver falls down and its initially ruled pass interference. Cody Davis hit Tramaine Thompson in the back and shoved him down. There’s no question on the replay. But the refs don’t have the advantage of replay, and reversed the call. So the Wildcat offense is unable to capitalize on the gift-wrapped present the defense gave it, and settles for a 34 yard field goal. Not a lot to be happy about with the game one quarter behind us.