Three Thoughts on K-State’s 17-10 Loss Against Tulane
The Kansas State Wildcats hosted the Tulane Green Wave at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday and came away with a 17-10 loss. With both teams starting 2-0 after an easy first two weeks of blowout matchups, this game quickly became one of the most anticipated games of the week three slate.
K-State was coming off a Week Two win against Missouri 40-12, while the Green Wave was fresh off a 52-0 shutout over Alcorn State. While the Wildcats started the season off rolling, the Green Wave forced a close match-up and proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the AAC. Even with the outcoming being surprisingly close, the Green Wave handled K-State, 17-10 in Saturday’s game.
Here are three thoughts on the game.
1. Tulane Came to Play
The Green Wave found a way to put the pressure on K-State all night long with six tackles for loss, and while the Green Wave didn’t technically record any sacks, they had three quarterback hurries on the night. This had the potential on paper to be a dangerous game for K-State, simply because it felt like a trap game sandwiched between a former Big 12 North foe in Missouri and a road trip in prime time at Oklahoma.
But still, as a 14-point favorite, this was a huge letdown for the Cats, and the Green Wave deserve a ton of credit for their performance. Tulane racked up 160 yards on the ground, good for 4.0 yards per carry. Compare this to Missouri last week, who was held to 2.7 yards per carry in Manhattan. Quarterback Michael Pratt was more effective on the ground and on the game-winning drive, as he had two key runs (11 and 21 yards) that led to the eventual go-ahead score. It wasn’t always pretty, but it was enough to get it done on the road for Tulane.
2. Questions for Klein
Collin Klein now has his first moment where the K-State faithful are questioning their first-year offensive coordinator. Klein called some of the worst plays possible on fourth down in this game for the Wildcats. It will be an interesting storyline for the Wildcats to see how they come back from this unexpected loss.
After being stopped on four consecutive fourth-down plays, the Wildcats looked completely shaken. Between calls like punting the ball on fourth and 12 from the KSU 48 yard line with 2:18 left in the fourth quarter to running multiple QB draws with Adrian Martinez on 4th and short, the Wildcats game plan was pretty easy to anticipate from a fan perspective, let alone a coaching perspective. While Collin Klein has helped the Cats to two-straight big victories against Mizzou and South Dakota, the play calling in this game seemed to be a major factor in the Green Wave shutting out K-State. As the Wildcats look ahead to OU, Collin Klein has a lot to prove next week when the Cats will have to score to keep up with the Sooners.
3. What’s Next for K-State?
The Wildcats followed suit with previous K-State teams by not delivering when fans anticipated them to. From the first drive of the game on, the Wildcats looked different than they had in the previous two weeks with an ineffective offense and a mediocre defense.
After playing two impressive games against South Dakota and Missouri, K-State found a way to underwhelm fans and left a lot on the table heading into Oklahoma next week. While this game potentially displayed a major issue on the offensive side of the ball with play calling, Wildcat fans have a lot to look forward to next week as Chris Kleiman-led teams have traditionally performed well against the Sooners. Klieman is 2-1 against the Sooners and the three games between the two teams have been decided by seven, three and six points.