Kansas State beat Central Arkansas 55-19 to open the 2017 season. It took the Wildcats a few series to find an offensive rhythm, and there were some obvious questions on defense, as Jon Morse notes in the What We Learned recap.
Although some questions remain unanswered, one thing is certain: Jesse Ertz can beat teams with more than just a stiff arm and “deceptive speed.” Yesterday, his stat line veered towards the absurd: 10/16; 333 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT. That’s 33.3 yards per completion over just three quarters of play. That earned him a QB rating of 319.8, the highest in school history (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).
His teammates were justifiably impressed. Comments ranged from “not surprised” (Dalvin Warmack) to “proud” (Byron Pringle) to “great feel for the offense” (Dalton Schoen) and finally “he threw it awfully well” (Bill Snyder).
Ertz was quick to credit stellar after-catch work by his talented receivers. “Everything I threw, they ran the same distance after that.” If nothing else, Ertz and his receivers demonstrated what can happen when talent meets development.
The other unequivocal bright spot for Kansas State was D.J. Reed. He had a 62-yard punt return touchdown and an interception, equaling a feat last performed in a game by all-time great Terence Newman in 2002. Like Ertz, Reed was quick to credit his teammates for her performance, noting the excellent work by his blockers on the punt return (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).
It’s possible Kansas State might move up a spot or two when the polls come out on Tuesday, but the mothership thinks a 55-19 win over an FCS team doesn’t prove much, even though that same logic doesn’t seem to apply to some of the other teams in their poll.
Kansas State couldn’t really make a dent against #6 Wisconsin, dropping the match 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-20). The VolleyCats have now lost four games in a row, the team’s longest losing streak since the end of the 2015 season. It’s also the first 0-3 start at home for Kansas State ever.
The Badgers were an offensive juggernaut with four players in the double digits for kills and hitting at .436. This was Wisconsin’s fifth consecutive straight sets victory.
Kylee Zumach led the VolleyCats with 10 kills, while teammates Alyssa Schultejans and Bryna Vogel had eight each. Vogel was also was named to the all-tournament team.
Up next, Kansas State heads to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Invitational starting on September 7. The tournament will also include Xavier and North Florida.