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Monday Thoughts

All D no O

NCAA Football: Texas at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Snyder Family Stadium

I went to my first K-State game of the year on Saturday, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The weather was meh, the team is....meh, but the turn out and general enthusiasm of the crowd was outstanding. I’m actually a little disappointed I didn’t make it to the game earlier. I was planning on catching the first hour of the Clemson game and then hitting the tailgates but I ended up with a 5 alarm Clemson emergency on my hands. I spent my morning stress drinking and attempting not to swear in front of my 4 year old (with mixed results).

The crowd got a little restless when Alex Delton was bouncing screen passes a foot short, but in general maintained composure even after a less than inspiring first half. So anyway, from a guy that’s seen a bunch of games in a bunch of places, good job, I’ve seen fans boo with much less provocation.

I was also introduced to the Bierock and it was pretty tasty. My seats were nice, the weather held, I knocked back a few beers in the parking lot during half time, and watched a game that somehow tightened up at the end. All-in-All, it was a nice day of football, results withstanding.


I mentioned in my article last week that K-State has no margin for error, and well, there were a few errors that cost the Wildcats the game. The punt return was a gut punch that just can’t happen. The safety was a dumb play call compounded by a bad decision. The dropped touchdown pass going into halftime was inexcusable.

K-State gave up 9 points on a kick return and safety, and took 7 points off the board by dropping a wide open touchdown. Gifting Texas 16 points was probably not the best idea.


Alex Delton

I’m not sure if it’s the pressure of dealing with the quarterback controversy or if he’s lost all confidence in his ability to throw the football, but that was a poor performance. He couldn’t complete simple screen passes that are meant to build confidence. I’ve seen him look much better on film last year, but it’s just not there right now. I feel bad for the kid.

If you’re going to go 3/7 for 14 yards (granted, he should have been 4/7 for 15 yards and a TD) you had better run for more than 27 yards. The Texas defense was stout up the middle and Delton couldn’t get the run game going. I’m not sure where the holes I saw on film for Delton to hit last year have gone but if Delton can’t run, he can’t play quarterback.

Skylar Thompson

Between the two quarterbacks, Thompson obviously performed better, but the passing game overall was still....meh. Thompson went 8/18 for 96 yards (granted, he was also victimized by a big drop) and 0 TDs. What’s interesting is that Alex Barnes (who I’ll get to in a moment) ran much better with Thompson under center. I’ll have to look at the tape, but I’m going to guess having Thompson in the game backed up the Texas safeties and created a little more room for Barnes to work.

Alex Barnes

The offense has been bad this year, but Barnes has been consistent in tough circumstances. He runs hard, takes big hits, gets back up, and does it again. His YPC is down from 5.6 YPC last year to 4.4 YPC this year, but I put a good bit of that on the mystifying struggles of the offensive line and teams packing the the box and daring the Wildcats to throw the ball. Alex is making the best out of a bad situation, and continued to do so on Saturday against the gigantic Texas defense.

Offensive Line

Again, I’m going to have to re-watch the game, but I’m just not seeing it. At the end of the first half, K-State had 1st and goal from the 6, ran it 3 times, and couldn’t push it in the endzone. The offensive line has to be the best unit on this team, and they’re just not getting it done. Throw in some shoddy pass protection, and I’m having a hard term coming to terms with the idea that the offensive line I saw dominate Oklahoma last year is the same line I’m watching this year.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Sometimes when you don’t have nice things to say, you shouldn’t say them. This is one such case. Another game with 2 huge drops and little production. Only 3 Wildcats caught passes and none of them caught a pass over 20 yards. I will say that Isaiah Zuber broke wide open in the 4th quarter for a sure touchdown, but Thompson didn’t let the ball go and got sacked.


Defensive Line

That was by far the best performance of the year by the defense, and the defensive line played a big part in keeping the game close. The star of the game was Reggie Walker, who came through with 2 sacks, but everyone held up relatively well and limited the Longhorns on the ground.


Da’Quan Patton and Justin Hughes were all over the field and combined for 14 tackles, 2 TFLs, and a QB hurry. I’ve questioned the linebackers this season, but they came to play on Saturday. The Texas running backs found some aggressive, angry tacklers in the Wildcats second line of defense, and were unable to bust any big runs.


This was the best unit on either side of the ball, and it wasn’t close. Texas has massive wide receiver, and the K-State secondary not only covered them well down the field, but got the giants on the ground when they did catch the ball. Collin Johnson is 6’6, 220 and Duke Shelley is generously list a 5’9, 180, but he, and the rest of the K-State secondary, found a way to keep the Longhorn receivers from physically dominating the game.

Eli Walker was a man on a mission and led the team with 11 tackles. It seemed like every time the pile broke up, Eli was at the bottom holding onto a Longhorn leg. I hope he got extra time in the ice bath yesterday because he certainly earned it.


This game is a step in the right direction if it was a repeatable performance. They travel to Waco for a make or break game on Saturday. If the same defense shows up, and the coaches can get together and figure out what they want to do on offense, it’s a game the Wildcats can win.

If they don’t win...well....we’ll talk about that if it happens.