Sunday Wrap-Up: K-State vs. San Jose State

This probably won't be as long as last week, because you can't pick up as many details by listening on the radio as you can from TV.

I would like to point your attention back to Friday's Q&A with San Jose Mercury sportswriter Laurence Miedema.  He estimated a 35-10 K-State victory.  I may ask him if he's interested in being my betting adviser from now on.

Miedema also had some interesting comments about SJSU coming off its first week drubbing at Arizona State...

"...there may have been some players who took last season's success for granted."

Later, there was this...

"SJSU is coming off the most lopsided defeat since Tomey arrived three years ago, so there should be a bounceback this week."

At this point, we don't know how good SJSU really is.  Maybe they really are as bad as they looked at Arizona State, but I doubt it.  It's kind of hard to go from 9-4 to totally incompetent in just one offseason.  Further, Dick Tomey is a good coach, and I'm sure he got better effort out of his players this week after they realized the previous weekend that this college football thing requires some hard work.

Now, moving on to K-State's performance from this week, I'm going to break it up into sections so you don't have an ocean of black text intimidating you.  All stats are courtesy the K-State athletic department Web site.

Positives

The first half of Josh Freeman's stat line looks pretty good.  I'll take 25/36 for 272 yards from Freeman every game.  We'll get to the other stuff in the negatives section.

James Johnson went over 100 yards rushing.  What's more, he did it on only 15 carries and averaged 7.4 yards per carry.  I also like the three rushing touchdowns.

We actually exhibited some offensive balance.  The breakdown went 36 passes, 27 rushes.  We need to establish a running game to keep defenses honest, and yesterday was at least a start down that path.

Deon Murphy is a playmaker.  The kid just makes things happen.  He had a 56 yard punt return, a 21-yard run for a touchdown, and six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.  Jordy Nelson does his work more quietly, but he's looking like the solid possession receiver with the speed to make plays we saw in 2005, snaring six more receptions for 82 yards.

The first-string defense held SJSU to seven points.  Yes, SJSU scored 14, but the last touchdown came late against the defensive backups.  Also, SJSU was held to only 293 total yards, and just 73 rushing yards.  I will grant that SJSU was missing its top running back, but run defense was supposed to be a serious concern for this group coming into this year, and so far the unit is allowing about 67 yards per game.

The Cats controlled the game, although they didn't really blow it open until the fourth quarter.  But the team never trailed, and never were really in danger of falling behind.

I'm officially breathing easier about the kicking situation.  Brooks Rossman made two field goals, from 26 and 43 yards, and made all four extra points.  I'm not saying it's a strength of the team, but it's certainly better than the old Jared Brite days.

I'm done blowing sunshine up your arse, so let's move on to what wasn't so good...

Negatives

Freaking penalties.  This week the Cats tacked on nine more penalties, for 96 yards.  That brings the season total to 25 for 235 yards.  I can't even describe how disgusting that is.

I thought maybe this week I had been too hard on Justin McKinney for his penalties last week.  And in fairness, McKinney does bring some emotion and passion to the secondary.  But so does Marcus Watts, and Watts manages not to cost his team 30-40 yards in penalties each game.  Before the first quarter was even over, McKinney had been called for two 15-yard penalties, including another facemask call.  I don't know what the deal is with him and getting his hands to the face, but something has to be done.  We really need Joshua Moore to get his academic issues straightened out.

Injuries.  It sounds like Antwon Moore, who I thought played extremely well against Auburn, left the game and did not return.

Freeman tacks on two more picks.  It's starting to become another day, another couple picks for Freeman.  He does so many things well, and on the scoring drives he is exceptional (4/8-48-FG, 6/6-90-TD, 6/6-60-TD, 5/5-34-TD, 1/1-10-TD, 0/2-0-FG).  So when we score, he's 22/28-242 yards.  But he can still make terrible throws like the one where he underthrew an apparently open Jordy Nelson and was picked off.  We just need to start seeing more consistency.

So at this point, we're pretty much where we figured we would be at 1-1.  As I posted last night, Missouri State is an FCS team that has put up big numbers on mediocre competition.  We really need to show up next week and have a good-old-fashioned K-State blowout, so we can go into the off-week and prepare for Texas with some good momentum.

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