Kansas State won yesterday, and won big, beating Florida Atlantic 63-7 in a game that was even more of a blowout than the scoreline suggests. It was a satisfying victory, but not an especially revealing one.
As Jon Morse noted, What We Learned was mostly bad. Look away from the scoreline and the gaudy stats—the Wildcats amassed 495 yards while only allowing 211 yards—and a different game reveals itself. Kansas State had nearly 120 yards in penalties alone, and Jesse Ertz showed some speed in the running game but not much improvement in the passing game. The offensive line performed well, especially in Kansas State’s ground game, but appears to be a work in progress.
The defense though? It was opportunistic, fast, salty. These are all good things. The Wildcats were the only Big 12 team to give up less than 10 points this week. Even correcting for the quality of the competition, the defensive effort is worthy of all kinds of notice.
There are plenty of game recaps for your reading pleasure:
- Kansas State rolls to victory (Associated Press, via ESPN)
- Rushing attack is key to big win (K-State SID)
- K-State makes short work of FAU (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal)
- Game report (Kellis Robinett, Kansas City Star)
Writing in depth for the KC Star, Robinett called the win a complete domination of FAU, but noted that Bill Snyder was unhappy with the rash of penalties. Expressing his displeasure after the game, Snyder said the team “totally lacked discipline to play this game.” He was “irritated to no end” and not inclined to recognize the team’s success in the running game since “all those yards come back (Riley Gates, Capital-Journal).
The running game was heavily featured in the win yesterday, with three quarterbacks, four running backs, and a fullback all combining for 336 yards on the ground (Kevin Haskin, . Winston Dimel was the lead scoring threat yesterday, with four touchdowns. But the blowout win failed to reveal a single go-to running back (Brett Engle, K-State Collegian). Instead, the backfield rotation remained the status quo, with Charles Jones, Justin Silmon, and Alex Barnes all getting to tote the rock. Also, Dalwin Warmack finally had a chance to make a mark, carrying the ball eight times for a team-high 90 yards.
Yesterday presented a full slate of games that ran well into the night. We should be exhausted by now, but we’re not. It’s because college football is grand, a tiny microcosm of all that makes up our world: triumph, agony, pain, joy, anticipation, relief, pride, disappointment, generosity, corruption, tribute, and failure. As our own Derek Smith notes in the Junction City Daily Union, college football is the finest sport.
Finally, and on a more sobering note, we live in a dark world. Spare a thought for the people of that other Manhattan, where an explosive device injured 29 people and left hundreds of others frightened and confused. Keep the people of St. Cloud, Minnesota in your thoughts too, where a man stabbed eight people before being fatally shot by police.