Running Diary: K-State 52, Bowling Green 0
6:00 a.m.: The Running Diary returns for Week Two! Kansas State surprised me in week one with a crisp, dominating 49-14 win over Nicholls, and now the 1-0 Wildcats turn their attention to a 1-0 Bowling Green team also off a blowout win of any FCS opponent in its opener last Thursday.
Refresh this piece all day for real-time updates from the field at Bill Snyder Family Stadium throughout pregame and then live thoughts from the press box throughout the contest. And, afterwards, we'll share post-game thoughts and comments from head coach Chris Klieman.
Also, you can listen to John Kurtz, Cole Manbeck and me starting at 7:00 a.m. for Powercat Gameday HERE, K-Rock in Manhattan or a number of stations across the state.
7:13 a.m.: Thank goodness for Derek Young. Set an alarm for 6:00 a.m. this morning to make it to Powercat Gameday, but I sure slept through it. About 6:30 or so DY came upstairs and asked if I was going to get up. I, apparently, was not.
We made it on time, fortunately, and now we're less than four hours from kickoff.
9:19 a.m.: Powercat Gameday has wrapped up and we're in the press box. Grant Flanders and Derek Young are heading down to the field to provide pregame updates I'll relay on here.
If you missed the debut of The Final Walk Through yesterday give it a look, as DY gives you plenty of insight on some personnel adjustments you could see on the field today.
9:37 a.m.: Our first few post-game notes are rolling in. True freshman Jacardia Wright is out on the field warming up early, and he's probably the most likely of the true freshmen running backs to play today.
Key Class of 2021 visitor Beau Stephens has also already been spotted on the sideline.
9:58 a.m.: Aside from the likes of Joshua Youngblood and Jax Dineen, two true freshman to see the field on offense last week, perhaps keep an eye out for Wright, Logan Wilson, Cooper Beebe and Khalid Duke, specifically, if the Wildcats were to be up big and in a position to try and build more depth today against Bowling Green.
Commit Nate Matlack is also in attendance for today's game, as well.
For the second straight week true freshman Chris Herron is spending time working as a kick/punt returner in pregame.
10:16 a.m.: We'll keep a further eye out for them, but at this point it looks like injured No. 2 defenders Cody Fletcher and Johnathan Durham are not dressed out this week and will not be available.
10:30 a.m: We noted this last week, too, but Duke is working out again with the defensive ends as opposed to the linebackers.
Also, DY just heard defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton's "pump up" speech to his unit. I'm told none of it could be typed on here, either.
Conor Riley, not to be forgotten, did much the same with the offensive line.
10:35 a.m.: Probably not the biggest deal in the world, but it's worth noting John Holcombe was the first to take reps with the No. 2 offense this week during pregame; last week it was Nick Ast.
10:59 a.m.: Check out a collection of pregame photos from Flando; and I'll be adding more at breaks throughout the game.
11:11 a.m.: K-State will take possession first after losing the coin toss. Very nice return by Phillip Brooks to give K-State great field position past the 40-yard line. Skylar Thompson hooks up with Malik Knowles for a 21-yard catch and run on the first offensive snap. Thompson's second throw is also on target off play action to Dalton Schoen for 12 yards and another first down. K-State puts Logan Long in at tight end and promptly runs behind him, with James Gilbert ripping off 17 yards and a first down. Thompson's first incompletion forces a third-and-goal from the 6-yard line, another incomplete pass to Knowles that was well played by Bowling Green. Blake Lynch knocks in 23-yard field goal for the game's first points.
K-State 3, Bowling Green 0 w/11:46 in the first quarter
11:17 a.m.: Bowling Green starts at its 35 after, well, maybe the worst kickoff I've ever seen. But, hey, it only put them at the 35. First play is a loss of four thanks to Wyatt Hubert, next play is a two-yard loss, bringing up a less than ideal third-and-16 for Bowling Green. Darius Wade picks up nine yards on a QB keeper, but it's well short of the first down. Great job by the Bowling Green punter to handle a VERY high snap, and K-State is forced to fair catch after a 46-yard punt. The drive will start at the 15-yard line.
Another early three-and-out for this defense.
11:25 a.m.: Very, very nice catch by Knowles on a nice throw on the run by Thompson for a first down out to the 30. Two short Harry Trotter runs leave K-State facing a third-and-nine, and Thompson makes the right call to keep and gain 14 yards for the first down.
Jordon Brown makes the biggest offensive play of the year so far with a 50-yard run, thanks in part to a fantastic block from Adam Holtorf for the first touchdown of the game.
K-State 10, Bowling Green 0 w/5:57 left in the first quarter
11:34 a.m.: The Falcons take advantage of missed K-State tackles on the ensuing drive to pick up 17 yards and a first down. Wade misses a wide open receiver WAAAAAY high and should have been intercepted. He misses another wide open pass catcher on the next play by throwing it into the ground short of his feet. Another very dangerous throw by Wade falls incomplete to force a punt. He looked very, very shaky on that drive, much like he did last week early against Morgan State. Brooks muffs the punt, but K-State (Brooks) does recover it at K-State's own 21.
11:41 a.m.: Nice toss and catch from Thompson to Brown for a 10-yard gain on first down. John Holcombe enters the game with Jax Dineen. Holcombe fumbles the snap on a designed run and loses four yards, and Thompson immediately goes back onto the field. Brown gets back six on the ground to make it third-and-eight, BEAUTIFUL throw to Wykeen Gill for 22 yards , and you get to tack on a 15-yard personal foul. James Gilbert darts in from 17 yards out for the score. K-State's offense looks awfully good right now.
K-State 17, Bowling Green 0 w/0:40 left in the first quarter
11:44 a.m.: It's K-State ball again, at Bowling Green's 24-yard-line, after Landry Weber recovered a loose ball on the kickoff after the Falcons couldn't handle a high boot from Devin Anctil.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Kansas State 17, Bowling Green 0
11:53 a.m.: A tough Trotter run gets a first down at the Bowling Green 12-yard-line. A nice looking Trotter 12-yard touchdown run comes back thanks to a holding call on Nick Kaltmayer. A delay of game makes it back-to-back offensive penalties and a first-and-25. A jet sweep to Knowles gets 12 yards back. The penalties proved no problem, as Thompson picked up a first down on the next play with a 14-yard run. Trotter then walks in for a one-yard score.
Three different backs have scored three different touchdowns. Feels a lot like last week.
K-State 24, Bowling Green 0 w/12:26 left in the second quarter.
12:01 p.m.: Another drive without a first down for Bowling Green, as Hubert makes a very nice tackle in the open field to limit the play on third-and-three to no gain. A fair catch by Brooks is going to have K-State at its own 26.
Man, Gilbert is just physical, breaks another tackle and gets a first down. True freshman Jacardia Wright gets the first action of his career, and he picks up three yards on his first carry. He gets five on his next carry before being replaced by Gilbert.
Gilbert, again, so physical. Gets absolutely blown up in the backfield on a third and short, and he eludes the tackler and rushes for 51 yards. He doesn't have great speed and gets caught from behind, but what an impressive effort by the Ball State transfer. Another very nifty run by Gilbert scores from five yards out.
K-State 31, Bowling Green 0 w/7:42 left in the second quarter
12:20 p.m.: I mean, what am I supposed to write anymore? It's another three and out, and K-State is absolutely dominating on offense. It's just too easy.
A short punt leaves K-State with possession at the 44-yard-line.
Wright gets 18 yards, as he's back in the game already.
Okay, so here's a story. Kurtz and I love the Mitch Holthus call of "Forget the first down, GO FOR THE BUSINESS!" on a long touchdown pass on fourth-and-short against Kansas in 1995. I, of course, just said that line before that snap on fourth-and-short, and K-State WENT FOR THE BUSINESS!
Thompson to Knowles, who's caught everything that has hit his hands today, and K-State is rolling.
K-State 38, Bowling Green 0 w/4:02 left in the first half.
12:29 p.m.: True freshman Will Jones played on the kickoff after the touchdown, and fellow true frosh Khalid Duke is in at defensive end. The Falcons do pick up back-to-back first downs against a defense now littered with backups at about half of the spots.
Walter Neil is down injured. Hubert was knocked out of the game earlier, too. We'll get updates on all injury situations in post game. An illegal man downfield penalty wipes away another big gain, but back-to-back completions make it third-and-three from K-State's 36-yard line, and Wade absolutely rifles an inaccurate pass to bring up fourth down. Good pressure by Dishon, and Wade fires another pass into the ground.
K-State will take over at its 36-yard-line with Holcombe again at quarterback. This appears to be as the actual backup quarterback, not just part of a QB-run package for him. Wright stays in at tailback. The Wildcats get stopped for the first time, essentially, this season, going three-and-out on three runs behind the No. 2 offensive line.
No punts, though, as Bowling Green allows it to go to the half.
HALFTIME: Kansas State 38, Bowling Green 0
Halftime Thoughts: Well, credit to DY for pretty much everything he told you in The Final Walk Though, as Jacardia Wright did play as a true freshman on offense, and the note we shared this morning about Khalid Duke likely playing has also proved true. He also told you in that piece K-State would slide Tyler Mitchell to tackle the first time K-State used a back-up tackle, and that's also exactly what happened.
So, yeah, read that piece going forward.
As for the game, K-State is even more dominant than it was a week ago. Maybe not quite as sharp (a few penalty issues on offense and a couple of missed tackles on defense), but that's picking nits. The Wildcats have been fantastic, again, and still essentially haven't been stopped, once, when their No. 1 offense is on the field this season.
12:49 p.m.: All right, let's do some different things here in the diary for the second half. I'm probably not going to go drive by drive, at this point, but just check in every 15-20 minutes with some thoughts from the KSO staff in the press box, maybe a new picture, maybe a joke, who knows?
12:55 p.m.: K-State goes with its starters on defense to start the second half, aside from Kevion McGee in for Neil and Kyle Ball in for Hubert, two players who were dinged in the first half. Want to give credit, too, to Eric Gallon for making a very nice play on the opening kickoff of the second half.
Hey! Guess what? K-State forced another three-and-out on the first drive of the second half, as Bowling Green went backwards four yards. Very nice plays made by both Trey Dishon and Jordan Mittie.
I mean, I guess I may end up going drive-by-drive. I'm a creature of habit. But I'll try and make it feel different. True freshman Logan Wilson - who, to brag, we also said to look for this week - was on the field for the latest Bowling Green punt.
1:00 p.m.: Geeze louise, what a catch by Knowles for another first down. Fantastic bounce back game for him.
Welp, spoke too soon, as Knowles just made an even better catch for a 20-yard touchdown. Probably the most questionable throw Thompson has made this year. And, of course, it goes for six.
K-State 45, Bowling Green 0 w/11:37 left in the third quarter
1:07 p.m.: Not a key play in the game, certainly, but credit to Daron Bowles for tripping up the Falcons' return man when he had a seam for a big return, and to true freshman Levi Archer for cleaning it up with the tackle.
Another three-and-out, of course, despite only having two starters in on defense. In what has to be a bit troubling at this point, though, Brooks muffs his second punt of the game, losing this one to let Bowling Green start inside K-State's 25.
So, what you do to get the ball back is just blitz the house, have both Gallon and Daniel Green light up the QB, force a fumble and let Duke recover it.
It's laughable at this point. Okay, it has been for a while, but that kind sequence is a pretty good example of how this game has gone for K-State and Bowling Green.
1:13 p.m.: Welcome to garbage time! It's going to be backups the rest of the way, which also means Holcombemania running wild all over this Falcon defense.
You don't see that every day, as Holcombe throws a ball, well, about 30 yards deep through the end zone despite having Dineen WIDE OPEN in front of him for an easy first down. Holcombe then takes a sack, and WE'VE GOT A PUNT!
It goes through the end zone, and Anctil is slow to get up. That's now three starters who've been at least dinged in this game, and it doesn't appear that any of them will return.
1:28 p.m.: We've got a new true frosh sighting in tailback Joe Ervin, and Ast has come in to play quarterback. His first ball is completed for a first down to redshirt freshman wide receiver Seth Porter. Let's get another newcomer on the field, too, in true freshman Cooper Beebe.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Kansas State 45, Bowling Green 0
1:36 p.m.: For what it's worth, Ast has been significantly better that Holcombe today. He just completed another pass for a 12-yard gain, this one the first catch of Joshua Youngblood's career.
Ervin spells Wright, who's tallied 14 carries this point (to just four for Jordon Brown, who's my guy, so I'm angry), and Ervin dashes in from six yards out - on a broken/poorly executed hand-off - and the Wildcats have surpassed the half-a-hundy mark.
Ast's first drive directing the offense was a 14-play, 68-yard scoring drive.
Anctil DID return to hold for the extra point, which was good to see. For his health and for his holder of the year campaign, obviously.
K-State 52, Bowling Green 0 w/9:45 left in the fourth quarter
1:44 p.m.: May be worth noting Porter replaced Brooks on the Falcons' most recent punt. Now, backups are on the field everywhere - and it shouldn't be read into too much - but I imagine Brooks may need to have a consistent week of practice fielding punts to remain back there next week at Mississippi State.
Also interesting Holcombe comes back in, which I think is wise. Not a great day for him, so far, and it's a wise idea to give him a shot to finish stronger after a nice drive by Ast.
***I'm going to head down now to watch the rest of the game from the field and get ready to add post-game notes from Chris Klieman's post game presser.***
FINAL SCORE: Kansas State 52, Bowling Green 0
POST GAME PRESS CONFERENCE NOTES
-Klieman has no information on Wyatt Hubert's injury, and he says Walter Neil could have come back if need be.
-Klieman praised how his offense handled minor adversity in this game (a holding call and delay of game on back-to-back plays), in that nobody panicked and the Wildcats went on to score a touchdown on that same drive.
-Klieman says overall the body of work has been, "good," but notes it's just two games and they have a lot to work on.
-Klieman says "I've seen that through fall camp," in relation to the plays made today by Malik Knowles.
-K-State's head coach notes it was a goal today to play a number of true freshman, and our most recent count on it (without review) is 11 true freshmen playing today.
-Klieman notes Jacardia Wright is "a bigger back," and somebody they wanted to get a look at today. He notes Wright got 14 carries and Joe Ervin got eight rushing attempts.
-Klieman says he still has "a lot of confidence" in Phillip Brooks and states he will still return punts for them. He calls him "an exceptional player," and says they have faith they'll "get him back on track" after muffing two punts today.