Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

August 31, 2014

Instant Analysis: Needed beginning

Kansas State knew it had to take care of business and get off to a fast start in its opener Saturday night with some important games looming in the near future and that's exactly what happened. The offense looked sharp, the defense held its own for the most part and the No. 20 Wildcats cruised to a comfortable 55-16 victory over Stephen F. Austin at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Senior quarterback Jake Waters threw for 223 yards and had four total touchdowns to help K-State, 1-0, rack up 478 yards of total offense and set the tone for the 2014 campaign with a convincing win. The Wildcats scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game to build a 28-10 halftime lead and never let up.

In addition to Waters completing 19 of 28 passes for the contest, the running game, which was a big question mark heading into season, was rather solid as well. Senior DeMarcus Robinson got the start and picked up 49 yards on 11 carries, while sophomore Charles Jones scored two touchdowns of his own. Jones and Waters both had a game-high 55 yards on the ground. Senior receiver Tyler Lockett caught a touchdown pass from Waters in the first quarter, but saw limited playing time the rest of the way.

On the other side of the ball, K-State, which travels to Ames, Iowa next weekend to face Big 12 foe Iowa State, did its part in containing the Lumberjacks, 0-1, but had some miscues along the way. SFA quarterbacks Zach Conque and Joe Minden threw for 118 and 107 yards, respectively, and running back Gus Johnson scored on a 30-yard run in the third quarter.

No. 20 KANSAS STATE 55, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 16
WHEN SFA RAN
This was a push heading into the game for good reason. SFA senior running back Gus Johnson was a 1,000-yard rusher a year ago and no one really knew just how good K-State's front seven would be at stopping at. Well, the jury was out on that for a while because Johnson was nowhere to be found in the first half and didn't look good when he first got in. His first carry came on the Lumberjacks' opening drive of the third quarter and his second carry on the next possession was a fumble. And although Johnson had a 30-yard touchdown run, the absence of the star back early definitely worked in K-State's favor. The Wildcats also did a nice job at stopping backup running back Joshawa West early and containing the quarterback run game, minus two long runs -- one apiece from quarterbacks Zach Conque (32 yards) and Joe Minden (18 yards) -- that led to both scores in the first half. Take away those two runs and SFA had 11 yards on 11 carries before the game got completely out of hand midway through the third quarter. It wasn't stellar, but it's probably safe to say K-State won this battle.
Pregame analysis - Advantage: Push
POSTGAME ANALYSIS - ADVANTAGE: K-STATE
WHEN K-STATE RAN
If there was an area of uncertainty surrounding the K-State offense before the season, it was the rushing attack. All of that was answered pretty quickly and in very positive fashion Saturday night. In a surprise move, senior DeMarcus Robinson got the starting nod over sophomore Charles Jones, who Snyder put atop the depth chart earlier this week. Robinson got a lot of work early and looked strong before, while Jones showed promise as the team's featured back in the Wildcat formation. Quarterback Jake Waters even got into the mix quite a bit and called his own number probably more than expected. Add in the fact that multiple guys were able to gain positive yards and make plays coupled with a nice performance by the shuffled offensive line and the Wildcats should be extremely pleased with 240 yards on 51 carries and four touchdowns from the ground game. There weren't too many lofty expectations set entering the game, but they easily exceeded them, to say the least.
Pregame analysis - Slight Advantage: K-State
POSTGAME ANALYSIS - ADVANTAGE: K-STATE
WHEN SFA THREW
This is one of those cases where the statistics don't exactly tell the whole story. Sure, both Zach Conque, the starter, and Joe Minden looked good at times and both threw for over 100 yards and had a decent combined completion percentage, but it wasn't incredibly impressive. Honestly, Minden was the better of the two quarterbacks and led the Lumberjacks on a nice touchdown drive midway through the second quarter, but Conque was the guy that took most of the snaps. K-State's secondary looked a little shaky at times and those yards a result of that, but they also made some nice plays to avoid any further damage. It's important to remember that it was the first starts for both cornerbacks so there should be a little benefit of the doubt given. The Wildcats also did pretty well at collapsing the pocket, particularly in their third-down jet package, as SFA only converted five of 14 of its third downs for the game. True freshman Elijah Lee was impressive with two sacks and a forced fumble in his debut.
Pregame analysis - Slight Advantage: K-State
POSTGAME ANALYSIS - SLIGHT ADVANTAGE: K-STATE
WHEN K-STATE THREW
No worries here, folks. Jake Waters looked like a comfortable field general out there and threw the ball fairly efficiently. The best part of this passing attack was simply the diversity it had and the amount of players Waters got involved. The senior signal-caller made the easy play most of the time with simple check-downs to his running backs and tight end Zach Trujillo, while also stretching the field when needed on the outside. It was a nice balance, especially considering Tyler Lockett hardly played. It was good to get some of the new guys the ball and get some confidence moving forward, too. It would have been nice had Waters not thrown an interception, but the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage and that shouldn't change the fact K-State did well without opening up the playbook much at all. The Wildcats are deep at the receiver position and this offense could get scary good if Waters continues to spread the love around like he did Saturday night.
Pregame analysis - Big Advantage: K-State
POSTGAME ANALYSIS - BIG ADVANTAGE: K-STATE
SPECIAL TEAMS
K-State is generally a consistent unit and this looked no different. Aside from a missed field by Jack Cantele at the end of the first half, there's not really not much to object to here. In fact, it might have even looked better than expected without Lockett. Curry Sexton appeared comfortable returning punts and Morgan Burns was a force at returning kickoffs at times. He had three returns for 105 yards, including a strong 47-yarder. Ian Patterson did fine with kickoffs, Cantele booted a 43-yarder even after the miss, and punter Mitch Lochbihler didn't have to do much. SFA wasn't bad at special teams, but K-State was the more polished unit for sure.
Pregame analysis - Advantage: K-State
POSTGAME ANALYSIS - ADVANTAGE: K-STATE
GAME INTANGIBLES
K-State was supposed to be the better team and, as everyone saw, was the better team. There's not too much more to really say. The Wildcats did exactly what they wanted to do and needed to do. Unlike last year, this team looks focused and on a mission to make some noise early in the season. As is the case for many teams, the first game didn't come without mistakes, but it appears that K-State is in good shape heading into next weekend.
Pregame analysis - Big Advantage: K-State
POSTGAME ANALYSIS - BIG ADVANTAGE: K-STATE
COACH SNYDER QUOTE OF THE GAME:
"Defensively, we have some work to do. We made some mistakes. We just have to do a better job. It's not rocket science to be able to stop the quarterback when he pulls it down and brings it out. They did a nice job scrambling with the football. We did a miserable job of defending against the scramble."
K-STATE PLAYER QUOTE OF THE GAME:
"I'm not expecting a 100 percent by any means, but I'm also not expecting a fail." -- K-State defensive end Ryan Mueller on how the defense might be graded out.
B's STAT STUFFER OF THE GAME:
K-State senior quarterback Jake Waters. He had 278 total yards (223 passing, 55 rushing) and four total touchdowns.
PROJECTED SPREAD: K-STATE by 34.5
ACTUAL MARGIN: K-STATE by 39


Kansas State NEWS

[More]

Latest Headlines:


Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos GoPowercat.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.