The game’s been over for a while now, and I’m pretty sure the offense is somewhere still trying to call timeouts.
Yeah, that was gross. The communication between the coaches and Jesse Ertz was butt. In fact, more often than not, the entire offense was butt. There were a few bright spots, but they weren’t without shadows: Byron Pringle came to life consistently for the first time all season, but dropped a perfectly-thrown Ertz pass in the end zone that could’ve made the game 20-3. Dominique Heath did Dominique Heath things, but only twice. Isaiah Zuber had nice catches, but again, only two. Deonte Burton had one huge catch, but that was all. More often than not, Ertz either rushed throws or just plain overthrew receivers. Completing 10 of 30 passes is just brutal. And I think we might be witnessing the slow death of the POP pass. It was a lot of fun for a few years, but this group just can’t get it right.
The POP pass may be dead, but the defense is alive and well. There was a lot of chatter this week about the defense being No. 1 in yards-per-game allowed, and though it won’t keep that stat, to a certain extent, it lived up to the hype.
Jordan Willis and company created pressure and forced turnovers in key spots. Toward the end of the first half, Skylar Howard was rattled, screaming at teammates and looked on the verge of going full Geno Smith. As Jon said in his recap, the bend-but-don’t-break works sometimes, and the Wildcats tested it to its full extent today.
But it was certainly a tale of two halves. K-State led 13-0 at halftime, but the Pringle drop, followed by a 52-yard Howard bomb to Shelton Gibson combined to change the complexion of the entire game. That catch — which Gibson made despite DJ Reed forcibly removing his helmet — ignited the entire stadium and flipped the momentum in an instant. The Wildcats never really flipped it back. It all coalesced to make for one of the biggest collapses of the Snyder era. It used to be that K-State was a near-given to win if it led at halftime. Through the past two seasons, that hasn’t been the case at all. It used to be that when a game came down to special teams, the Wildcats would almost always prevail. But, as Snyder said in this week’s Tuesday presser, nothing is automatic.
This was a tough loss, and it doesn’t get any easier from here. K-State has Texas Tech next week in Manhattan, and as Jon said, that game likely won’t give us any clearer picture of this team — certainly not the offense.
And I think I just heard Ertz screaming for one more timeout.