Kansas State won in typical Kansas State fashion. On a day when the offense was only slightly less anemic than in Morgantown, the defense and special teams made key contributions to the scoreboard, and Kliff Kingsbury learned that you don’t gamble against Bill Snyder.
But we didn’t really learn more about this Kansas State team. If the West Virginia game revealed cracks in the system, then this game was—at best—a patch job on those cracks, and maybe not even a good one.
The building still stands though, and a win is infinitely preferable to a loss.
Jon Morse’s recap was more of a diary-style run down of the second half, laying out the fact that we didn’t really learn anything—Kansas State 44, Texas Tech 38: What We Learned (or didn’t).
A look at the stat line for the game is a bit alarming, in that the Wildcats’ stingy defense gave up almost 600 yards against Texas Tech. But the numbers mask the fact that this was the Red Raiders lowest offensive output of the season. Thanks to defensive adjustments in the second half, Texas Tech only converted three of six third downs and came away empty on three separate fourth down chances. Patrick Mahomes was under constant pressure in the second half, and that was the difference for Kansas State (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
On the offensive side, Charles Jones provided much of the spark. Rushing for a total of 128 yards, Jones made the most of his 19 carries, including scoring the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter (Corbitt, Capital-Journal).
D.J. Reed was overconfident and had a rough game in Morgantown, but after that loss, and demonstrating his commitment to improvement, he hit the film room and came up big against Texas Tech in the first half, snagging an interception and racing to the end zone for the score. Afterwards, he earned big praise from Bill Snyder, and maybe also an admonition to hand the ball to the ref after scoring (Kevin Haskin, Capital-Journal).
Byron Pringle’s contribution to the win was a stellar 99-yard kickoff return in the first half. The touchdown celebration that followed was strange, however. Pringle took a punch to the gut from teammate Dominique Heath and appeared to be writhing in pain before rushing off to the sideline. No damage was done, thank goodness (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
The view from Texas Tech is a bit different. There’s some confusion about how an offense that manages nearly 600 yards can lose a game, but also some angst over giving up big special teams plays two weeks in a row (Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal).
And now it’s time to move on to the Oklahoma game. The Sooners have struggled out of the gate this season, but the offense is finally hitting its stride (Eric Bailey, Tulsa World). The defense is still a work in progress, but Kansas State is not equipped to take advantage of the Sooners’ struggles on defense (Ryan Aber, The Oklahoman).
On the third day of the SMU Invitational, the Wildcats finished the tournament in style, winning four matches to go with a doubles championship for Livia Cirnu and Iva Bago. This is the team’s second doubles win following two doubles wins at the OU Invite last week.
Bago was also a winner in singles, as was Maria Panaite, who also won a doubles match paired up with Palma Juhasz.
Next up, the team heads to Minneapolis for the ITA Regional Championships later this week.
The VolleyCats finally put TCU away in four sets 3-1 (33-31, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15) after dropping the second set and trailing by a point in the third. Brooke Sassin made five kills in six points to spark an 8-0 Kansas State run. The VolleyCats scored 11 of the last 13 points and then ran away with the victory.
K-State finished with a .301 hitting percentage, its second straight match over .300 and sixth time overall this season, and Sassin was joined by Bryna Vogel who also had six kills in the match, while Katie Reininger led the team with 11. Kersten Kober (16) and Devin Fairfield (10) had double-digit digs for the match.
The team will head to Lawrence on Wednesday for the Sunflower Showdown against No. 6 Kansas. The game will be on ESPNU and first serve is scheduled for 6 PM.