KSU Wildcats Win Texas Bowl!

What a way to cap off a long difficult season. Kansas State came to play! Some may say that LSU was down a bunch of players and lacked a head coach. So what! Bowl game wins are hard to come by. Julien reminded me that his Miami Hurricanes have only 1 bowl game victory in the past 16 years. In Coach Chris Kleiman’s three years at Kansas State, he has led the team to two bowl games, winning only one. A win is a win, and we will take it! Besides, KSU just beat down an LSU team who has stacked up top five recruiting classes in each of the last five years. They won the national championship in 2019. They don’t get excuses. As we all know, talent drives college football. Just look at Alabama and Georgia. The Dawgs have 20 five-star recruits to Michigan’s one. This year’s Orange Bowl wasn’t even a contest. There is little to no parity in college football when it comes to recruiting. KSU will take it’s win against a perennial SEC powerhouse and run with it!

Tuesday Night’s game was the healthiest we have seen Skylar Thompson all year. He was crisp. He was sharp. He was accurate. He was the leader that we have all come to know and love in his 40 starts as the Wildcat’s signal caller. The Texas Bowl was a coming out party for Skylar Thompson. He showcased all his talents for the NFL talent evaluators on a big stage. Connecting on 21 of his 28 throws for 259 yards and three touchdowns, Thompson masterfully led his team. He converted multiple 3rd and longs. In fact, he was 10 for 10 throwing on 3rd down for the evening. When he couldn’t convert the third down, Coach Kleiman trusted Thompson to convert the fourth down. Thompson did not hesitate to let the ball fly down the field. He trusted his receivers and it paid off. Thompson distributed the ball to 10 different receivers. The shifty and diminutive Phillip Brooks was his go to receiver with six catches for 69 yards. Kade Warner was featured on several 3rd down conversions with three catches for 42 yards. Finally, Malik Knowles executed several spectacular plays finishing the evening with three catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns. His sudden change of direction and quick twitchy movements were hard for LSU defenders to adjust to even though LSU defenders are normally very twitchy athletes themselves.

The Kansas State Wildcats featured a new offensive coordinator for the Texas Bowl. Quarterbacks coach Collin Klein was elevated to the offensive coordinator position for this game after Coach Kleiman fired Courtney Messingham. Klein did not disappoint. Long time K-State fans should recognize Klein. He was the 2012 Big 12 offensive player of the year as well as a 2012 Heisman trophy finalist. Known for his grit, his running game, and his arm, he epitomized the Kansas State quarterback tradition, falling in line with KSU greats Chad May, Michael Bishop, Ell Roberson, Jonathan Beasley, and Josh Freeman. After 10 years of coaching, Klein was allowed to formulate a game plan and execute it for the Texas Bowl. The plan was flawless. He knew that LSU would focus on bottling up Deuce Vaughn. He also knew that he was down several running backs due to the transfer portal. So, he focused heavily on the passing game, and it paid off. Early in the game he called on Thompson to sling the rock which eventually helped open up the run game. In the end, his play calling was balanced. He ran 34 running plays to 28 pass plays. He didn’t force Thompson to run, as Coach Klein was famous for during his own heyday. Even when LSU seemed to have Deuce bottled up, Coach Klein steadily fed his best offensive weapon the ball. Deuce got loose three times for runs over 15 yards. His longest run came in the fourth quarter when he darted for 48 yards to the LSU 17-yard line. Overall, the Wildcat offense executed extremely well. They did not turn the ball over and they punted the ball twice in nine possessions. They scored on six of their possessions and missed a field goal at the end of the first half. Klein called an efficient game, and his players executed his plan well.

There isn’t much to say about the defense. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the score was 42 to 7. That’s a historic margin for LSU to be losing by in the 4th quarter of a bowl game. LSU is extremely talented. They managed to get two touchdowns on the KSU defense in garbage time when the game was out of reach. The KSU defense ran LSU’s quarterback all over the field, forcing him to throw two interceptions. The LSU coaches were so concerned about the KSU pass defense that they only allowed Jontre Kirklin to throw the ball eleven times in the game. They ran the ball for 170 yards on 37 carries instead. While they stacked up the yards, the LSU running game was largely ineffectual. The Kansas State defense played like the defenses of yester year when KSU sported defensive coordinators such as Bob Stoops, Brett Bielema, Jim Leavitt, Phil Bennet, and Mike Stoops. Hopefully this is a trend that carries through to next season.

The future is bright for Kansas State! With Skylar Thompson’s departure, KSU looks to give former Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez a shot at leading the Wildcat offense. It seems weird to have a former Cornhusker signal caller under center at Kansas State. That will be interesting to watch. Deuce Vaughn will be back. Defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah will also be back to terrorize Big 12 quarterbacks for another season. Both players are foundational pieces to the future of Kansas State and should attract more talent to the Little Apple. Additionally, we will eventually be treated to watching them play on Sundays. Hopefully Collin Klein is retained as the offensive coordinator. I believe he has earned the job. For now, the Wildcats end it’s 8-5 season on a high note with an exclamation point. Spring camp cannot come fast enough!

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Hello fellow sports fans! My name is Joseph Jordan. Welcome to our page. Welcome to our website. I hope you are as deeply passionate about sports as I am. Julien and I have spent a lot of time writing our sports opinions on Facebook over the years. … Read More>>


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