Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
With one quarter of play down, K-State already owns a lead of… nothing. Because the Wildcats are down 7-6. Game’s not on tv, but available on the internet via K-StateHD or on the radio. Hope you’re not deterred from following along, whether online or going old school with the AM. Here are the thoughts I’ve typed through the game so far:
K-State elects to receive. This team is ready to start the game off with a 7-0 lead and never let up. UMass willing to kick it straight at Tyler Lockett. Would normally be surprising, but their kicker able to kick it nine yards into the end zone.
First play, John Hubert takes it 16 yards to the 41-yard line. It’s obvious the team is ready to establish a ground game. Unfortunately, the second rush goes nowhere. Notice, Andre McDonald and Zach Trujillo both on the field. UMass forces a punt on the drive, K-State fails to cross the 50 after that initial nice play. Defense takes the field.
Oh no. UMass’s first play is a QB fake hand-off, keeps it, 14 yard run. But just like for K-State, the second run is stuffed at the line. UMass then forced to burn a timeout due to noise levels after an incomplete screen pass that the defense completely blew up.
On 3rd and nine, Kip Daily is playing zone and steps in front of the tight end. Pick six, and that’s how much K-State goes up as the PAT is no good following a bad snap. Was that Dalton Converse as the long snapper? I didn’t see. Oh, and UMass returner bobbles the kick off, falls on it at the 17. UMass may beat itself tonight, making it easier for the Wildcats.
Chaquell Reed comes off the field. On his own, but still injured. CANNOT have him hurt going forward. UMass immediately attacks Damante Hood (his replacement) for a five yard run. Then Dorrian Roberts just straight up gives up the first down pass. You’ve gotta play better coverage.
Again? UMass moving the ball with impunity. Zimmerman put a nice hit on the receiver, but the Minutemen have another first down and are across the 50. UMass dominating time of possession. Not a good sign. UMass just got it’s third third down conversion of the drive too. First and goal. On second down, Jon Truman demonstrated some good speed dragging down the running back from behind. Then Ryan Mueller meets the running back on third and goal, forces a field goal. But Travis Britz gets the block. Commentators saying this defense already looks tired, but the defensive tackle certainly got after it there. Still, K-State had a hard time stopping the 118th ranked offense in the nation.
Hubert starts the next drive with a six yard run that he single-handedly made. That run was all John Hubert. He may not have speed, but runs with much more power than you’d expect, breaking tackles. On 3rd and one, Daniel Sams comes in, bootlegs left, gain of three. Let’s do more of that. Jake Waters back in after one play, and throws an interception after a badly overthrown pass. I don’t know how much longer I can defend his decision-making.
K-State just let up another solid drive, and UMass scores with six seconds to go. Wildcats down 7-6 now. K-State looks dreadful. Lockett catches the second kick seven yards deep with zero opportunity for a return. Last play of the quarter, Waters runs around in the backfield, and finishes with a two-yard loss after a ten second scramble. Ugh.