If you didn’t catch the first-half summary, here it is.
It looked promising until it didn’t, and it ended up pretty much how we expected with a few small surprises.
Jesse Ertz left the game after the first play, then Joe Hubener came back in the game and threw a pair of terrible passes. K-State stalled out and had to punt, but the football gods had our backs and a wide-open Dede Westbrook dropped a pass that was thrown just behind him, saving a sure touchdown.
Oklahoma punted and Hubener brought the offense back on the field. He kept finding ways to keep the drive alive, but on 4th and 2 the Wildcats elected to go for it and Hubener changed the play, throwing a lame dribbler in the direction of Pringle for the failed conversion.
Oklahoma took over and Dante Barnett nearly had an interception, then Duke Shelley got one with an assist from Barnett. Now K-State just needed its other No. 8 to deliver. Instead, Hubener threw a pass on second down that Deonte Burton had to get to just to keep it from being picked, then was charged with a delay of game, then the pocket collapsed and he evaded a safety and threw it away.
The defense responded by holding Oklahoma to a fourth down, but Baker Mayfield threw a great pass to Westbrook to keep the drive alive. The two hooked up again three plays later to make it 31-10 with a little more than a minute left in the third quarter.
Hubes struggled to begin the next drive, nearly throwing a pick, but then converted a 3rd and 22. Business as usual for Hubes. Never know what you’ll get. Then, on another third down after a false start, Hubes made maybe the play of his career on a 54-yard throw on the run to Dominique Heath to make it 31-17.
Elijah Lee managed to somehow escape a targeting call on the next drive, and it was big, because the defense made another stop.
Hubener led the offense back out and managed a few plays, but failed to convert a 3rd and 9 and the Wildcats elected to punt. The decision cost them as Westbrook burned Shelley on the very next play of the game for an 88-yard score to seal the game.
Here’s three things we learned:
The defense played decent, but came on too late and was way too concerned about the run
Dede Wesbrook burned the defense just a few times in this game, but each time it was because the safeties and corners were too concerned about the run threat. When they read pass, they covered well, but when there was a hint at a run, they often ended up burned — none more critical than the final touchdown.
If Ertz is done, the season might be done as well
Everyone knows I was the world’s biggest Hubes cheerleader last season, but my faith faded by bowl season. It hasn’t come back. Joe Hubener is capable of making things happen occasionally, but he is completely devoid of anything resembling consistency. As S. Ripley put it in the second-half thread comments, he is an enigma. The coaches looked like they had something resembling a solid offensive gameplan with Ertz, but when he left, the offense fell apart. Hubener just can’t do it. He is not the quarterback to lead this offense to success. But on that note:
Look, if Alex Delton isn’t playing, there’s a reason
I’m so tired of the “Where’s Delton?” stuff. I’m sure he’s a great kid, and yes, he’s athletic, but we haven’t seen him throw and there might be a reason. Say what you will about these coaches, but assuming you know more than them when you haven’t even seen a kid play at this level is silly. Chill out. This isn’t fun. None of us are having fun. We don’t like losing. But if Delton was the savior, he’d be playing. The coaches aren’t going to put him on the field just to prove to you why they shouldn’t.
That’s all I got. Have at it in the comments, but be nice to each other and the players, please.