TCU spotted K-State a 35-17 halftime lead, and won anyway in a 52-45 thriller at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Just as with last week, K-State collapsed in the second half, and just as last week the blame for that rests largely on the coaching staff.
Joe Hubener ran for 111 yards, which was awesome. He was also 13-33 passing for 157 yards, which wasn't. Charles Jones added 75 on the ground; Deante Burton had five catches for 65 and Kyle Klein was 4/57.
For TCU, Trevone Boykin was 20-30 for 301 yards and two TDs, with two interceptions landing in Elijah Lee's arms. K-State's run defense, previously a strength, was gashed. Boykin ran for 124 yards and two scores; Aaron Green added 121 and 2. Josh Doctson had 8 catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
What we already knew:
1. Someone with a headset is insane
There's eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. You have a touchdown lead. Obviously, what you do is use your rushing attack, which has been successful to the tune of well over five yards per carry, to burn the clock and drive downfield, passing as necessary.
Unless you're Kansas State, in which case you come out and throw, throw, throw, and punt.
It was a turning point in the game, and it was an inexcusable sequence.
2. The kids are alright
A lot of youngsters made impacts tonight, and we're not even talking about Elijah Lee. Duke Shelley got his first action, and was so effective that Trevone Boykin simply didn't throw to his side all night. He never tested him. Why? Lockdown coverage. And that made a great deal of difference in the passing game for TCU. Kaleb Prewett was on point. Zach Reuter did some nice things. The future is bright.
3. The offense works, when you let it
Offensively, K-State moved the ball when they relied on what works. As noted in item one, tonight that was running the ball. Yes, you have to throw occasionally, or the box gets stacked. But at one point, K-State threw the ball on what felt like 400 straight plays. Joe Hubener's completion percentage was barely over 33%. He is not Joe Montana.
Run the damn ball.
4. The coaching staff choked
With under two minutes to play, with a fourth-and-1 deep in TCU territory, K-State elected to kick a field goal to tie the game. Everyone in the stadium, everyone watching on television, and everyone listening on the radio knew what was coming next. TCU scored a touchdown in no time at all.
There was never a more significant time to go for it. K-State played not to lose, and failed.
5. If nothing else, there's no quit
This team could have listened to the press. They could have listened to me. They could have believed they had no chance.
Instead, they came out and punched TCU in the face for 30 minutes.
Tonight's loss isn't on the players. It's on the press box. The players didn't fail. The staff did. Worse, they failed the players. They had no faith. And that's all we have to say about that.