Last week, I eschewed the usual postgame reaction format because there really weren't any positives to be taken from the blowout loss to Nebraska. The same is true, but in reverse this week. There's really no reason to go through the things I liked about the game, which was pretty much everything, and the things I didn't like, which was pretty much nothing.
First of all, a lot of credit to Carson Coffman for delivering a bigtime performance last night. The overall numbers in terms of yards gained weren't eye-popping, but it's everything we could ask from Coffman and more. He had 184 yards passing on 15 completions in 16 attempts, and the only incompletion was an out-and-out drop. Add to that 42 yards rushing on 10 attempts with three touchdowns and you have a great game.
Next, the defense deserves its due for bouncing back from an embarrassing outing against Nebraska last Thursday to shut down KU's (admittedly inept) offense. After KU's first six drives in the first half, K-State had held the 'beaks to 62 total yards. Just like everyone else in purple, I would have loved to see a shutout, but there's little to complain about from the defense's effort on Thursday.
We're obviously going to miss Brodrick Smith the rest of the year, but it was good to see Chris Harper step up and make a big catch down the field on an underthrown ball, much as Smith has done several times this year. I know 184 passing yards isn't going to set anyone's world on fire, but on only 17 attempts, we'll take that output anytime this year. Props to both tight ends, Andre McDonald and Travis Tannahill, for snagging touchdown passes.
A look around the conference and at the week ahead is after the jump.
What it means and where we're going...
The best part about this victory -- aside from it being a huge blowout over an in-state rival -- is that it showed this team could bounced back from a humiliating home loss. I was concerned about this team being able to overcome hangover from the loss to Nebraska, but as it turned out that wasn't a problem. Interestingly, last night brought the news that K-State is ranked No. 22 in the first BCS standings. This was initially a surprise to me, but when you think about it, K-State is 5-1 and has played as good of a schedule as most teams at this point.
Next Saturday brings a trip to Waco to play the dreaded Baylor Bears. After beating Colorado in Boulder on Saturday, the Bears are, at 5-2, on the verge of bowl eligibility for the first time since Roosevelt was president (the first one). Not only will they be fired up to get that sixth win at home, but they're more than capable of beating K-State. Although Robert Griffin III hasn't done a ton of running this season -- he's averaging 10 attempts per game -- he will have to be accounted for or we could see him gliding through our defensive secondary. The Bears also have a lot of speed at the skill positions. We'll have more this week, but getting a win in Waco will be a challenge.
Around the Big 12
Texas 20, Nebraska 13
It was the Big 12 game of the year, and it didn't fail to deliver. Texas turned a couple early Nebraska miscues into an early lead, then played keepaway the rest of the afternoon while Nebraska constantly shot itself in the foot. It was obvious that Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp learned from the UCLA debacle this year, as the Longhorns smothered Nebraska's zone read, to the point where Taylor Martinez was pulled from the game in the second half in favor of Zac Lee. Nebraska didn't adjust very well, and Niles Paul and Brandon Kinnie did everything they could to ensure that no forward passes were caught for touchdowns.
Nebraska's loss opens up the North race again, at least a little bit. The Missouri/Nebraska game in Lincoln on October 30th is looming larger and larger as the showdown that will decide the North.
Missouri 30, Texas A&M 9
Speaking of Mizzou, the Tigers are 6-0 after hammering Texas A&M in College Station this weekend. The final doesn't really indicate how much of a blowout this was. Strange as it is to say, the Missouri defense is really something to behold this year. The Tigers don't have the playmakers on offense that we're used to seeing, but they're still holding their own. If the Tigers get past Oklahoma in Columbia this weekend, all bets are off.
Oklahoma 52, Iowa State 0
Didn't see any of it, and I'm glad I didn't. The Sooners are looking pretty fearsome at the moment, and are ranked No. 1 in the initial BCS standings.
Baylor 31, Colorado 25
Again, didn't see this game. As mentioned above, Baylor is just one win shy of bowl eligibility. Meanwhile, Colorado has squandered its early-season momentum and now sits 0-2 in conference play. Our game in Boulder is looking like the most winnable conference game on the schedule.
Oklahoma State 34, Texas Tech 17
The first-year misery for Tommy Tuberville continues. Okie State jumped to an early lead in this one and never looked back. The Cowboys join Oklahoma at the top of the South at 2-0, while Texas Tech leads only A&M at the bottom of the standings.