Sunday, September 25, 2011
Reflections and Predictions
Win the turnover battle: check
Create holes for Klein and Hubert to run through: check
Play solid defense: check
Three things we needed to do to win, and three things we did to win. But enough about my amazing coaching abilities... haha just kidding. Seriously, when I wrote those things I did not expect K-State to accomplish them or even win as a result if they did. Which they almost didn't. Thankfully they did and we were all on cloud nine for a few beautiful hours. Bowl games now seem within reach as we are halfway there and 3-0 is obviously the best start we could have hoped for. Then I had to watch the terror that is Robert Griffin III destroy Rice and realized as tough as this week's game was, next week's is going to be tougher. But more about that later.
First I have to say that Collin Klein is the real deal. He's fourth in the Big XII in rushing yards per game and the first three are running backs. He finds holes where there are none and executes the offense as well as Bill Snyder could hope for. He even showed off his arm a bit on Saturday, hitting Tyler Lockett with a PERFECT pass for a touchdown in the first half and amassing over 100 yards through the air. He also had a nifty little jump pass to Travis Tannehill for a touchdown. Miami defenders did say before the game that Klein reminded them of Tim Tebow- maybe that gave Snyder some ideas....
Hubert finally showed why he is the featured back in a running back race that was extremely close in the off-season with 166 yards and the go-ahead, stay-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. I was a little scared going into this game that we had no running attack besides Klein, but Hubert shows we can still be a force on the ground. The offensive line had a lot to do with that too, as they played incredibly well. Not overlooked was BJ Finney (the center) recovering TWO offensive fumbles and keeping possession at critical points in the game. The receivers and tight ends played well enough, making catches when we needed them and NOT fumbling. Let's keep that up shall we?
Now on to the defense. Oh the defense. The run defense is incredibly improved. Besides the one sixty-yard touchdown they gave up, they were solid and stiff against the run. That running back was getting hit from all sides and couldn't even lift his arms midway through the fourth quarter. Arthur Brown, Tre Walker, and Emmanuel Lamur are starting to look like the Lynch Mob of old. I probably just jinxed them by saying that, as that seems to be what happens whenever we use those words, but I couldn't help it. They are FAST and PHYSICAL and gosh darnit THEY TACKLE!!! The d-line didn't get any sacks, but Adam Davis had a bunch of tackles and Kibble continues to fill the middle. They also were a huge part of that goal line stand. Oh yeah, the goal line stand. When has anyone ever seen that from the K-State defense? Tre Walker tackling Jacory Harris short of the goal line on fourth and goal from the 2 was one of the best defensive plays I've ever seen. Period. He ran him down! A quarterback known for his speed and strength! And Tre caught him AND tackled him! Just amazing. Now to the worst part of the game- the pass defense. They did not look good. Besides Nigel Malone's INT there was no pass defense. They got some good tackles in there but were consistently beat deep. That's scary. Miami took advantage of that often, and I'm surprised it wasn't more. Baylor will take advantage more.
On to Baylor. Best Baylor team maybe ever. And it's all because of their quarterback Robert Griffin III. The man has MORE TOUCHDOWN PASSES THAN INCOMPLETIONS. Read that again. He is 70/82 (12 incompletions) with 13 touchdowns. Not 12 interceptions, 12 INCOMPLETIONS. He actually has ZERO interceptions. So yeah. I'm scared. Granted, they haven't played anyone with much of a defense (TCU, Stephen F Austin, Rice) but still. You have to be good to put up those numbers against anybody. So really, I don't see us stopping Baylor. Even with a solid defensive performance, we're going to give up some points. One key, as usual, would be turnovers. But so far Baylor hasn't been very prone to those, so I'm not sure we can count on any. The difference in this game will be Baylor's defense, which is worse than Miami's. That might not mean much though. We're good enough to stop Baylor at times. But it's going to be up to our offense to play BETTER than they did against Miami. I'm not sure that's possible. Like I said, Baylor's defense is worse than Miami's, but it's still up to the offense to execute. And not only execute, but throw the ball deep and get some long runs. Get momentum early, don't turn the ball over, and get some big plays on offense. There. Those are my three keys for next week. Will Coach McCandless prevail again? I'm about as optimistic as last week, which is not very. So we will see...