Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Is Kansas State's big start real or a mirage?
By David Ubben
The statistics offered plenty of questions about Kansas State entering the season, but the Wildcats now sit at 4-0 with a lopsided win over Miami and a history-making, season-defining win at Oklahoma last week.
But what do we know about the Wildcats so far? Is K-State officially for real, or should there still be some skepticism about how good this team really is?
Colleague KC Joyner took a look at the numbers .
His diagnosis? After looking at game tape and metrics, it's clear that Kansas State is a whole lot more than a flash in the pan.
Despite dealing with injuries across the offensive line, Joyner graded out the Wildcats' offensive line very well in the win over Oklahoma. On 30 of 40 rushing plays, the offensive line prevented the defense from disrupting the play.
That much was obvious, especially early when the Wildcats looked even more dominant.
Collin Klein's yards per carry was low last year, the lowest among any ball carrier with at least 200 carries. This year? It was up exactly a yard against the Sooners, and the offensive line is a big reason why.
Joyner's also encouraged by Klein's ability to work around the Sooners' insistence on preventing big plays over the top. Klein averaged about half of what you'd expect in terms of production on passes down the field, but there were no wasted attempts.
Klein wasn't sacked, threw the ball away only once and had only one pass nearly intercepted.
All good signs for the Wildcats, and this team should be fun to watch as the season progresses. Check out Joyner's full piece for even more reasons to be encouraged by Kansas State's start.