Kansas State will head to the Alamodome on Saturday to face off with the University of Texas San Antonio with just as many questions as they had after week one. The only question that really got any answers on Saturday is that the special teams will still be special with life after Tyler Lockett.
The Wildcats started last Saturday’s season opener with a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by senior Morgan Burns that got all of the fans going. After that the most talked event from the night was the halftime performance by the band that has drawn national attention for its misinterpreted intentions.
In typical Bill Snyder fashion, the first game of the year had a very vanilla playbook, which I’m sure became even plainer after sophomore Jesse Ertz premature departure. Kansas State fans were spoiled last year with polished passer Jake Waters under center and the likes of Lockett and Curry Sexton split out wide. The records that Waters set last year will be safe this year. Just like last Saturday, there will likely be more rushing yards compiled during most games this year than there will be passing.
After just two plays, Ertz left the game with an injury that will probably cost him the entire season. Backup quarterback, junior Joe Hubener stepped into the spotlight and played an efficient game, but never really wowed the crowd.
Hubener finished the game 9-of-18 passing for 147 yards and a touchdown, but never had a signature play that pushed his name to the headlines for anyone. To be fair to Hubener, him and the receiving core, led by coach Andre Coleman really have their work cut out for them if the aspire to be a pass heavy team. Coach Snyder will not let the team beat themselves by trying to make them something they are not though. So the ground and pound offense will be key for this team this year.
The team finished 189 rushing yards on 41 carries, averaging 4.6 yards per rush. Junior Charles Jones got the most work out of the backfield with 10 carries for 43 yards. It was freshman Winston Dimel though that got the carries near the goal line, and he did not disappoint. Dimel scored two touchdowns on eight carries.
Like most people Saturday I left the game happy about the victory, and laughing about the media storm that the halftime performance had quickly become. But the next day when I was discussing the game with a neighbor, I could not remember a single play that really grabbed my attention other than the opening kickoff return.
One thing that I have learned though is to never underestimate Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder. I am certain that Snyder will give this team an identity on the field that Wildcat fans can be proud of.
The Wildcats will have a real test on Saturday when they face off with the Roadrunners, who fell to the Arizona Wildcats 32-42 last Saturday in Tucson. UTSA finished the game with 525 yards of total offense, so the Wildcats will certainly need to get the penalties cleaned up and get the offense rolling if they hope to leave San Antonio with another victory. Hopefully the momentum gained from the season opening shutout will help the defense shut down the Roadrunners.
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