KSU Embarrassed by Tulane

Tulane Kansas St Football

This was a pitiful performance by the Wildcats. While the defense played respectable most of the game, the offense was clunky and lacked rhythm. I am not even sure the Kansas State offense practiced this week. Kansas State failed in three specific areas. They committed too many penalties. They could not convert on third or fourth downs. Lastly, they failed to capitalize on game changing defensive plays.

During the first half Kansas State had an uncharacteristic four penalties for 18 yards. Now, that might not seem like much, however several of those penalties came at crucial portions of the game. Seven plays into the game, the defense committed an offsides penalty. During their first possession, they were sitting at 3rd and 9 when a false start occurred putting them at 3rd and 14. They had to punt. During Tulane’s 3rd possession, the Wildcats kept the Tulane drive alive by being offsides again. All the penalties were overcome able by themselves. However, when you add them to the remaining mistakes, the weight of underperformance adds up to a loss.

Kansas State converted only two out of fifteen third down opportunities. What is worse is that Tulane only converted one out twelve third downs during the game. The Kansas State defense stopped the Tulane offense most of the game. It is only when they got tired that they broke. However, the most egregious issue problem occurred on fourth down. KSU attempted five fourth down conversions and only converted once! Three of them were fourth and one. One was fourth and two. The last one was fourth and eight. One can forgive not converting fourth and eight, however failing to convert the remainder is wholly and completely unacceptable. It was a failure of the coaches and the players. First, on all three fourth and one’s, Adrian Martinez should have been under center and merely pushed forward to get the first down. They only did that once. Second, the one fourth and one play that Tulane decided to attempt to convert occurred on KSU’s own twenty-four-yard line. Tulane’s head coach told his quarterback to go get that first down and he did, ending the game. That may have been the most embarrassing play of the game; not because the defense didn’t stop them but because KSU failed to convert four out of five fourth down opportunities.

Lastly the Kansas State defense played lights out. They secured two sacks, two interceptions and multiple tackles for loss. The sacks came at timely portions of the game, forcing Tulane to punt and give the KSU offense the ball. Though Felix Anudike-Uzomah was double teamed most of the game and he still effected pressure on the Tulane quarterback securing one sack. Kansas State forced two turnovers, yet they failed to turn those turnovers into points. The KSU offense had been gifted the ball on offense ten times when their defense stoned the Tulane offense on third downs forcing punts. Then they were given the ball two more times on the interceptions. The fault for this loss does not lie with the defense. They did their job.

The KSU offense lacked rhythm and consistency. They only managed two scoring drives. In the sixty minutes they had to play, Collin Klein failed to figure out the Tulane defense. If he did figure it out, the Martinez failed to execute. Adrian Martinez had ten incompletions on Saturday and almost all of them were his fault. He had multiple overthrows, under throws and two throw aways. The two throw-away’s were likely smart as he did not turn the ball over. In fact, that was the only thing the offense managed to do well. I could not see the whole field during the broadcast, however the commentators continually complimented Martinez for checking the ball down, indicating that the KSU receivers were covered. If that is the case, then Coach Klein failed to adjust. The route concepts needed to change. Martinez needed to be put on the move to throw the ball. Coach Klein did not call a bootleg or a rollout. The option play seemed to work most of the time…yet they went to it only a few times. The worst example of poor play calling occurred when Coach Klein continued to call for a shovel pass. All four shovel passes were blown up in the backfield. If it doesn’t work, find something else that does. The offense’s one and only highlight occurred when Martinez found Kade Warner for a tying touchdown. Martinez failed to replicate that level of brilliant play the rest of the game, thus showing his inability to be consistent.

Adrian Martinez is not a good enough passer of the football to win games in the Big 12. I have hinted to this issue for weeks. The play call selection is too remedial. The receiver routes and route concepts are too basic. Knowing this, defenses are keying on Deuce Vaughn like Tulane did. Stop Deuce and you stop the KSU offense because Martinez is not going to win the game for the Wildcats. Martinez is no Skylar Thompson nor is he Collin Klein. He may have 17 Nebraska school records, but he isn’t good enough to play for KSU at this juncture. The KSU offense needs to change, or last week’s win against the Missouri Tigers will be their last of the season.

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