It was a high-profile Thursday night game, so why not a few thoughts on what we saw last night?
*Despite a 65-35 balance skewing towards the pass, the Wildcats bled the clock to play keep away from the Tigers for as long as they could. They had a field position edge, starting drives on their own 36 on average versus Auburn’s average starting field position of its own 29. They generally limited big plays on defense.
In some respects, this was a classic Kansas State game.
*In others, however, it felt like watching Bizarro K-State. Everyone will point to the three missed field goals, but how often do you expect to see Tyler Lockett drop a pass in the end zone (that leads to an interception, no less)? And a fumbled exchange deep inside KSU’s own territory? Very strange.
*Ultimately, Auburn won this game by taking away Wildcat quarterback Jake Waters’ ability to run. That's tantamount to shutting down KSU’s ground game.
This is going to be a key for KSU all season. If Waters can’t get it going on the ground, it severely limits the effectiveness of the offense.
*In general, it seems as though people were pretty impressed with KSU. To wit:
I didn't get such a favorable impression.
For all the talk of opportunities missed by KSU to put points on the board, you could point to just as many cases of Nick Marshall airmailing receivers running free or Tiger wideouts dropping balls. That kind of showing by a secondary will get you murderized in the Big 12.
After just three games, Bill Snyder and his staff have time to get the defensive backs straightened out. If they can't figure out how to cover, a losing record in conference play isn’t out of the question.
*Weird game. If only Ron Prince had been there to see it.