From The Couch - Disappointing Loss Against Arkansas State

  

Week one didn't turn out as planned for the Wildcats, losing 35-31 to Arkansas State.  Offensive line issues seemed to be the biggest problem, but two missed field goals and numerous mistakes on both sides of the ball led to a very sloppy effort overall.  Let's recap the game and take a look at some of the post game comments.

"Will Jones blocks the punt and Kansas State is in business!"...Gus Johnson, Fox

JM:  K-State held Arkansas State to a three and out on the first drive of the game and blocked the punt and recovered the ball on the 19 yard line.  Pretty good start!

"TOUCHDOWN, Kansas State!  Phillip Brooks!"...Gus Johnson, Fox

JM:  Two plays after the blocked punt, Skylar Thompson threw a touchdown pass to Phillip Brooks to put K-State up 7-0.

"You can't start the game any better."...Joel Klatt, Fox

JM:  This is exactly what I said at the time.  Unfortunately, Arkansas State got the ball and marched right down the field for a touchdown to tie the game at seven.

"So far Arkansas State having no problems moving the ball against K-State."...Joel Klatt, Fox

JM:  Joel said this with three and a half minutes left in the first quarter.  This was a common theme the entire game.

"Blake Lynch in to attempt the field goal and he missed this one BADLY!"...Gus Johnson, Fox

JM:  This 43 yard attempt came with K-State up 21-14 with 3:17 left in the half.  Instead of going into halftime with a 10 point lead, they were only up seven. 

"..and this one SHANKED.  And now Kansas State is falling apart."...Gus Johnson, Fox

JM:  This was a 47 yard field goal attempt by Blake at the beginning of the 4th quarter with the game tied at 21.  It was not even close.  With the help of a successful fake punt attempt, Arkansas State marched down the field and went up 28-21.

"And Kansas State takes a 31-28 lead with 2:30 to go."...Gus Johnson, Fox

JM:  Lynch made this 35 yard field goal to put K-State up three.  Was any K-State fan confident at this point?  Nope.  Our worst fears were realized when Arkansas State marched right down the field to score the game winning touchdown with 38 seconds left in the game.

"Obviously excited about the win,' said Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson. 'Excited, but not surprised.'"...AP

JM:  The "not surprised" part of this quote stuck out to me here.  Arkansas State pulled every trick play out of their playbook and played a very confident game in pulling this upset.  They never thought they were going to lose.

"Arkansas State held Kansas State to 91 yards rushing. The Wildcats averaged 178 rushing yards per game in 2019."...AP

JM:  Held to half of the rushing yards they normally get.  This tells the story of the game.

"There are three or four (passes) that I can think of that were just inches off, or I missed a throw or misjudged on a ball and just couldn't get on the same page there a couple times,' (Skylar) Thompson said."...AP

JM:  This is very accurate quote from a quarterback that wasn't all that accurate yesterday.

“A variety of things killed us,” Klieman said. “We didn’t block well enough up front is the first thing. I think everyone could see after the play at the two-yard-line where Skylar got hit, he struggled to move around after that. It was not a severe injury, but he did not have the same mobility as he typically does. Once again, we have to make plays. I know that there are some receivers that aren’t out there, but the guys that are out there we have to make plays, and we had a couple of opportunities to make big plays and we didn’t.”...Wichita Eagle

JM:  They have to get the offensive line fixed or it's going to be a LONG season.

"An unusual offseason filled with quarantine, COVID tests and sporadic tests likely attributed to the disappointing start. So did player absences, as the Wildcats played this game without nearly two dozen players and most of their scholarship wide receivers.

Injuries on the offensive line were also a problem. Starting center Noah Johnson hurt his right arm in the first half, and K-State had to experiment with Ben Adler and Haydem Gillum handling snaps afterward. That led to some issues.

The Wildcats also suffered personnel losses in the secondary, including starters Jahron McPherson early and Wayne Jones late. Klieman pointed out they were down to third-string players at some positions."...Wichita Eagle

JM:  K-State now has two weeks to prepare for Oklahoma, which will probably be their toughest game of the season.  It's obvious Covid is going to be an issue as the season progresses and that will lead to issues at certain positions on the field.  It's going to be interesting to watch what happens.  Hope they can turn things around and win some games going forward.  Stay tuned!

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