Starting the second half, K-State got another solid return that it simply couldn’t capitalize on, with Tyler Lockett providing a 27 yard return but only accruing ten yards on a drive that forced K-State to burn one of its timeouts. The Ducks took advantage of the opportunity by driving 62 yards in only 2:10, but only got the the K-State 15. Oregon’s Alejandro Maldonado kicked a 32 yard field goal to put Oregon up 25-10. Only one of four on the season with a long of 26, it’s were that he’d miss, but Maldonado is now 2/5 on the season. It shows that Chip Kelly isn’t comfortable with his team’s ability to convert for the first time all year.
On the kickoff, Lockett provided a 40 yard return, but K-State went three and out in having to punt again. What hurt was on the punt, a Wildcat defender was blocked into the return man, which earned a penalty for interfering with the catcher.
As the game wears on, it appears the coaches intended to increase Pease’s playing time all along. While John Hubert is generally regarded as the better running back and is certainly faster, the team appears inclined to line up the bigger Pease against Oregon’s speedy defense in an attempt to power through defenders rather than attempt to outrun them.
About the only thing that seemed to go the Wildcats’ way in the third quarter was a blocked PAT, but even that went Oregon’s way. Because the ball was brought into the end zone, it resulted in a one point safety, giving the Ducks another score on the board. Some big things need to happen in the final quarter to change the outcome of this game, although the team has had several dramatic second halves and after playing close the majority of the game to go home with blowouts, so there’s no reason a dramatic fourth quarter can’t bring them back into the game.
When Oregon went up 32-10, the question became whether they would continue bringing five defensive linemen. They did. The suddenly large lead meant that K-State needed to pass anyway, so why force them into it when you can play more prevent defense. However, K-State opened up with a run to Pease, run to Pease, and pass (incomplete). Yet another three-and-out. This team would obviously rather run than throw, but sometimes you have to take what the defense gives you.
The first good thing that was actually good wasn’t until 1:35 left to play in the quarter, as Meshak Williams recorded the team’s first sack of the game on fourth down to give the Wildcats the ball back. Oregon ran more plays in the 3rd quarter than they did in the whole first half, and K-State was looking defeated. However, K-State remains devoted to the run and has been moving it effectively so far. The Wildcats are driving with a first and ten at the 32 yard line, which is where we leave the third quarter. A score here, and it’s only a two touchdown game. There’s still plenty of reason to believe.