Saturday, September 15, 2012
Kansas State survives another slow start
By David Ubben
Starting slow wasn't a problem in last week's blowout win over Miami.
Against North Texas on Saturday night, the problem reared its head.
The Wildcats trailed by seven early, and led North Texas by just a point late in the third quarter before rallying for a 35-21 win. In K-State's season opener, the Wildcats were tied at nine with Missouri State before a 35-point, fourth-quarter outburst provided a comfortable final score.
Tonight's slow start? Blame the defense. At one point early in the game, Kansas State had been outgained by 95 yards. North Texas had 94 yards. Kansas State had minus-1.
The offense played a part, but K-State was getting beaten at its own game. North Texas controlled the line of scrimmage, controlled the clock, and early on, controlled much of the game.
K-State's been in that position before, though, and it showed. The Wildcats maintained their poise and rallied, turning the game on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Tramaine Thompson that gave Snyder's team a 21-13 lead late in the third quarter. The Wildcats never looked back.
The slow starts are definitely a concern. So is a defense that struggled tackling for most of the game. Linebacker Arthur Brown suffered what looked like an ugly ankle injury early on, but returned later in the game for the Wildcats, making tackles on his first two snaps back on the field.
For now, though, the worries are over. K-State finished its three-game home stand out of conference without a loss. Snyder won't be happy, but he'll be undefeated in 2012. That's something to work with.
Now, a trip to Oklahoma awaits, fresh off a bye week and ready to solidify their status as the Big 12 favorite. TCU and Kansas played the first Big 12 game today, but league play really starts when the Sooners and Wildcats kick it off in what should be a matchup of two top-15 teams.
Collin Klein finished 16-of-21 for 238 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also added 84 yards and a score on 11 carries. Thompson finished with two scores and 102 yards on five catches.