Very nice way to start the second quarter for the ‘Cats. The first quarter ended with TCU looking unstoppable and driving downfield. Then a one-yard run sandwiched between two incomplete passes left TCU at fourth and nine. Jaden Oberkrom missed the 45-yard kick, giving K-State the ball back at their own 28. Tyler Lockett responded with a 17-yard run on the first play of the drive. The Wildcats eventually had to punt, but any time a set of drives keep the score separated by two possessions, it’s something to cheer.
Texas Christian’s quarterback is a redshirt freshman who was thrust into the starting role after their first string passer left the team to enter rehab, so a collective sigh of relief was heard throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth region when Trevone Boykin was able to reenter the game after leaving for a series with an apparent shoulder injury. Matt Brown came off the bench to complete one of two throws for 14 yards, but TCU probably doesn’t stand a great chance if Brown has to replace Boykin again later in the game.
K-State’s special teams have been special again so far this game. Anthony Cantele has been 2-3 by hitting from 20 and 41 yards out but missing a 48 yarder wide right. Punter Ryan Doerr has extended his string of strong kicks by hitting punts of 50, 54, and 55 yards so far (although it’d be nice if his 54 yard punt for a touchdown could’ve been downed about ten yards shorter). On the last one for 55 yards, returner Deante Gray fumbled the football which the Wildcats recovered at the five. K-State was Tremaine Thompson has provided the only two punt returns tonight, and is averaging 16 yards per return. However, with 4:11 left to play Tyler Lockett downed a punt at the 50-yard line. Hard to argue with that sort of field position.
The problem with the drive that started with 4:11 to go: TCU’s defense has been playing with passion tonight and doing a good job bottling Klein. The Horned Frogs forced a three-and-out on the possession after sacking Klein twice and forcing an incomplete pass. K-State’s punt was the fumblerooskie by Gray, but even with the ball on the five yard line the Wildcats weren’t able to convert for a touchdown. John Hubert was stopped for two straight losses and a Klein pass to Hubert got K-State back to the TCU 3, where Bill Snyder elected to kick the field goal and go up 13-0. Normally the Jug wouldn’t agree with this play, but in a game that’s turned into a fierce defensive struggle it may be smart to take points at every available opportunity.
TCU got the ball back with a short amount of time left on the clock, and got a 38 yard return from Brandon Carter. TCU was driving and looking to get a field goal going into half time, but Ty Zimmerman (who seems to have an interception in every conference game this year) picked off Boykin and returned it 33 yards with a couple seconds left to put K-State in position to take a 16-0 lead. However, Cantele missed the 48 yard opportunity and that’s where things stand at halftime. This is one of the most aggressive defenses K-State has faced this year, and it will be interesting to see what adjustments are made for the second half.