Kansas State needed a comprehensive win and got just that yesterday, beating Texas-San Antonio 41-17 on a steamy afternoon in Manhattan. The Wildcats are now 2-1 on the season and the Big 12 schedule is just around the corner.
Unlike in their first two outings of the season, victory was assured heading into the fourth quarter, allowing some of the backups to get in on the action. On the offensive side, it was a productive day for Skylar Thompson and Isaiah Zuber, as the Wildcats amassed 441 yards of total offense, despite the Roadrunners effectively shutting down the Kansas State running game (Jon Morse, Bring on the Cats).
This was exactly the sort of comfortable, confidence-boosting win Kansas State needed before they head to Morgantown to open Big 12 play next week. (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle). In this particular game, the Wildcats started strong and finished strong, with only a few hiccups in the middle. The Wildcats looked sharp on offense and defense, and won handily against an opponent without the weapons to mount a serious challenge (Cody Friesen, K-State Collegian).
Any debate over the quarterback position is clearly over (Robinett, Eagle). Thompson (13/18, 213 yards, 2 TD; 66 yards rushing) showed both confidence and skill in the passing game, distributed the ball nicely, and executed the Kansas State offense to near perfection (Corbin McGuire, K-State Sports Extra). In particular, Thompson emerged as a reliable on-field leader, something teammates (and Bill Snyder) instantly gave him credit for. Take this from Dalton Schoen, for example:
He has handled everything this year well. Obviously, he was put in a tough situation being in a quarterback battle, having to split reps. I like how he really took command today and led our offense.
Thompson is learning with every game. His increasing comfort with the playbook was on display against UTSA as he distributed the ball to a number of different receivers. But as the man himself notes, he’s “young still. I’ve still got a long ways to go.” (Justin Toscano, Manhattan Mercury).
He’s in for an almost immediate test, as the Wildcats take on West Virginia next. A game in Morgantown presents a very different—and much more difficult—challenge than UTSA, and the ‘Eers have had more time to prepare than Kansas State. But that’s a worry for later. For now, let’s just enjoy the afterglow of a good win.
The women’s golf team is in East Lansing this weekend for the Mary Fossum Invitational. Things have not gone that well for the Wildcats though. Over two days, Kansas State is at 43-over par 619 and in 14th place (out of a total of 16 teams). Reid Isaac is low Wildcat for this event. She’s currently in a tie for 32nd place with a 5-over par 149 score through two days of play,
On the men’s side, the season will officially tee off today as the team plays in the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 2017 Big 12 co-champion Jeremy Gandon got an automatic spot in the tournament, but Kansas State chose the remaining players for this event via two 54-hole qualifying tournaments. Roster spots went to the winners of each of the three-round intra-squad contest, with two additional spots for players with the lowest combined score.
Kansas State’s trip to Minneapolis for the Gopher Fall Classic ended in the most anticlimactic fashion. Due to unusually warm weather in Minneapolis, it was too hot to play the match in Maturi Pavilion (which is not air-conditioned). When the two teams could not come up with a makeup date to play, the match was cancelled.
Next up, the VolleyCats are back home at Ahearn Field House to take on Texas in the Big 12 opener. First serve is set for September 19 at 6 PM.