KICKING THE TIRES: Tennessee Technological University

KansasStateLeftTennesseeTechRight

Kansas State Wildcats (1-2) VS. Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (1-1; 0-1)

Band Day | Fort Riley Day | University Family Day
Bill Snyder Family Stadium - Manhattan, Kan.
Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 - 1:10 PM CST

no television

 

Click the jump for a preview of the purple-and-lemon LSU copycats from Cookeville, Tenn.

KEY PLAYERS

 

K-State

Passing
Carson Coffman (47 of 86, 553 yards, 2 TD, 4 INT)

Receiving
Brandon Banks (16 catches, 133 yards)

Rushing
Daniel Thomas (65 carries, 294 yards, 2 TD)

Wild Card
Tysyn Hartman (18 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF)

 

TTU

Passing
Lee Sweeney (25 of 44, 284 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT)

Receiving
Tim Benford (7 catches, 116 yards)

Rushing
Tremaine Hudson (23 carries, 134 yards, 1 TD)

Wild Card
Howard Griffin (19 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FF)

 

KEY STATS

I'm adding a new feature this week. Next to each K-State ranking, I have a number either in red or green. Red signals a decrease in the ranking from last week, while green indicates an increase. This way, you can track the relative change in our various statistical categories from week to week.

 

Rushing Offense
TTU (26*) > K-State (49 | -21)

Passing Offense
TTU (84*) > K-State (87 | -5)

Total Offense
TTU (59*) > K-State (75 | -22)

Scoring Offense
TTU (33*) > K-State (107 | -10)

Rushing Defense
TTU (48*) > K-State (62 | -14)

Pass Efficiency Defense
TTU (8*) > K-State (14 | -4)

Total Defense
TTU (20*) > K-State (29 | -4)

Scoring Defense
TTU (14*) > K-State (43 | +3)

Net Punting
K-State (100 | +3) = TTU (100*)

Punt Returns
TTU (15*) > K-State (45 | -6)

Kickoff Returns
TTU (26*) > K-State (48 | +50)

Turnover Margin
TTU (7*) > K-State (63 | -4)

Pass Defense
TTU (13*) > K-State (22 | +1)

Passing Efficiency
TTU (77*) > K-State (98 | -11)

 

*FCS rankings

 

Analysis

Simply put, the UCLA game did nothing good for our offense. We pretty much showed the rest of our hand, and didn't even come up with a pair. We dropped nationally in every single category, and showed the rest of the nation the way to beat us is to stack eight in the box and come with a blitz every down.

Either you stuff Daniel Thomas on the run, or you get Carson Coffman in a hurry and he a) fumbles the ball, b) throws an interception, c) throws a wobbly duck of an incomplete pass, d) takes a sack, e) runs around awkwardly and gains maybe two yards or f) somehow completes a pass for a first down. F is preferred, E is the most realistic outcome we can hope for on any given play, and A, B, C and D are happening way to often.

Defensively, there was one big difference between the first-half performance and all the ugly performances from last year: Somehow, we got it under control and prevented the Bruins from running amok on us in the second half like they did in the first. That's a positive, and a slight increase in pass and scoring defense resulted, but there still were too many Swiss-cheese moments against what has been a paltry UCLA run game.

Furthermore, we made Kevin Craft look like a golden god out there, after he threw a school-record 20 interceptions last season, which is not inspiring, considering we still have to face Oklahoma and Texas Tech this season... not to mention Todd Reesing and Blaine Gabbert. The breakdown on the final touchdown was particularly troubling, since it represented both scheme and execution problems.

One positive is that while the kicking game still sucked - thanks largely to the quintessentially poor holding of Ryan Doerr - one area that I harped on last week improved dramatically: kickoff returns. Now, if only Bill Snyder would start trusting Brandon Banks on punt returns again, we might start to get something going in terms of field position. Of course, the offense probably would just squander it and then we would miss the field goal, so I have hard time getting excited even about that...

Although Tennessee Tech ranks better than us in every category (and even though those are FCS rankings, I bet the hard numbers still are better than ours in most cases), it's important to remember that those numbers were amassed against even poorer FCS competition. In a nutshell: If we lose this one, say hello to a 1-11 season.

Prediction: Kansas State 31, Tennessee Tech 3

 

BracketCat's Projected Starters

Will this be the first week we start the same offensive line two games in a row? We haven't yet, and it's an understated component of our offensive struggles, IMO.

 

QB: Carson Coffman
FB: Braden Wilson
RB: Daniel Thomas

WR: Brandon Banks, Attrail Snipes
TE: Jeron Mastrud
OL: Nick Stringer, Zach Kendall, Wade Weibert, Kenneth Mayfield, Clyde Aufner

DL: Daniel Calvin, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Raphael Guidry, Hansen Sekona
LB: John Houlik, Ulla Pomele
DB: Troy Butler, David Garrett, Tysyn Hartman, Emmanuel Lamur, Joshua Moore

H: Please, God, anyone but Ryan Doerr
K: Josh Cherry
P: Ryan Doerr
R: Brandon Banks, Tysyn Hartman

 

Elsewhere in the Big 12...

Are you the type of person whose appetite merely was whetted by such scintillating matchups as Tulsa at Oklahoma, Kansas at UTEP, and Houston at Oklahoma State? (OK, that last one probably was a bad example...)

Well, if so, this is your lucky weekend! It's time for the Big 12/Conference USA Showdown! That's right, enjoy the regional fireworks as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles look to knock off the distracted Fightin' Jayhawks and the UTEP Underminers look to topple the Taj Mahaustin. Meanwhile, UAB's scaly, fire-breathing lizards will take on A&M's scaly, homoerotic Aggie Corps, and Texas Tech again will play in the featured nightcap in a tough road environment against a ranked Lone Star State powerhouse. (Just trying to help Okie Lite save some face...)

For the undercard, the other half of the conference will take on typically overmatched FCS opponents. Yay!

 

#21 Missouri at Nevada (ESPN) (Friday)
Tigers 32, Wolf Pack 19

Southern Miss at #20 Kansas (FSN)
Jayhawks 26, Golden Eagles 20

UTEP at #2 Texas (FSN)
Longhorns 43, Miners 15

UAB at Texas A&M
Aggies 45, Blazers 27

Grambling State at #16 Oklahoma State
Cowboys 46, Tigers 21

Louisiana at #25 Nebraska (FSN PPV)
Cornhuskers 31, Ragin' Cajuns 21

Northwestern State at Baylor
Bears 54, Demons 20

Army at Iowa State
Cyclones 42, Black Knights 30

Texas Tech at #17 Houston (ESPN2)
Cougars 25, Red Raiders 20

 

All helmet images are courtesy of The Helmet Project. Check it out - it's pretty cool.

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