In a game which was maddening, irritating, and frustrating, the Kansas State Wildcats (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) fell 40-34 to the Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. Chris Warren bulled his way into the end zone from two yards out in the second overtime — after appearing to have been stopped at the line of scrimmage — to give Texas the win.
Dalton Schoen had touchdown receptions of 82 and 12 yards, Alex Delton had touchdown runs of 8 and 2 yards, and it wasn’t enough. Texas moved the ball almost at will for the majority of the game, although the Wildcat defense did play very well in the second half; the Longhorns only mustered two field goals between halftime and overtime. Texas had a chance to win it before time expired, but Joshua Rowland missed wide right from 45 yards out.
Texas scored uncontested on its first play of overtime on a 25-yard pass from Sam Ehlinger to Jerrod Heard, and while Delton ran K-State back into a tie, a botched drive on the second overtime resulted in a missed 53-yarder by Matthew McCrane which bounced off the left upright.
It was a bitter pill for McCrane, who’d already hit from 54 to put K-State on the board first, and later hit from 33. Dalton Schoen had touchdown receptions of 82 and 12 yards, Alex Delton had touchdown runs of 8 and 2 yards, and it wasn’t enough.
K-State lost the yardage battle 546-494, and only managed 15 first downs to the Longhorns’ 32. The Wildcats ran for 140, 81 by Delton and 60 from Alex Barnes. Schoen had 121 yards through the air. Jesse Ertz was 12-18 for 224 and a pick, while Delton was 2-5 for 30.
Oh, and D.J. Reed had an interception, on the very first play from scrimmage. That was bookended by Ertz’s interception, which took place on the last real play K-State ran in regulation.
All in all, a disappointing and frustrating result.
What did we learn?
1) Dalton Schoen is pretty good.
Schoen finally dropped a pass, late in the fourth quarter when Delton led him just a bit too wide. But before that, he was targeted five times, catching every single one of them. Here is the stunning part of Schoen’s contribution this season: he is K-State’s leading receiver by yardage, and second in total catches behind Isaiah Zuber. Not bad for a walk-on.
2) It’s time for Elijah Sullivan to get on the field.
Virtually every time Texas completed a pass to a receiver which involved someone other than the man covering him having to make the play, the man covering him was Jayd Kirby. It’s hard to say that, but we can’t keep adding sugar to the tea here.
3) Jesse Ertz is hurt.
He’s not hurt enough to not play, as evidenced by his re-entry into the game for the stupid final K-State drive of regulation. But wildcat00 posited an interesting theory: that Ertz saw running lanes that he was simply unable to take advantage of because he couldn’t burst, and that it was his own advice to get Delton into the game. If true, it worked.
4) Byron Pringle probably lost his spot.
After his second touchdown catch, there were virtually no offensive plays in which Schoen was not on the field. But you know who was missing most of the second half? Pringle, who did manage to break his streak of drops by catching a pass... which was tipped by Winston Dimel and fell into his lap.
5) It’s time to discuss the coaching again.
The personnel decisions are questionable, as noted above. The clock management in the final minute was absurd and atrocious. The play-calling is baffling and bizarre, including the final indignity — calling a short-side run by Barnes on 2nd and 23 in the second overtime. We’re just at a loss.
And while everyone happily blames Dana Dimel and Tom Hayes for everything, let’s call this what it is. The man at the top is responsible. It’s even embedded indelibly in the 16 goals.