One Point is Enough

Winning by one is still winning.  Iowa State has been a bur in Kansas State’s saddle for 106 years.  The Cyclones are always a tough out.  This year was no different. The Wildcats knew that Iowa State received a black eye and a bloody nose from the Jayhawks last week.  In fact, Iowa State gave that game away missing three field goals.  Kansas State almost gave this week’s game away.


Avoidable Errors

The Wildcats committed three penalties for 25 yards but only one of them made my list of avoidable errors.  There are five key points in the game where the Wildcats almost gave this game away.  The first came when Adrian Martinez passed the ball to Malik Knowles for 67 yards and right as Knowles was crossing the goal line a Cyclones safety punched the ball out from behind forcing a fumble and a touchback.  It was a great play by both teams; however, it was an avoidable play by Knowles.  The safety had grabbed Knowles by his pants and was pulling him back which should have signaled Knowles to protect the ball as he crossed the goal line.  He didn’t, and the Wildcats chances at pulling ahead 14-6 disintegrated.

The second avoidable error occurred with 7:50 on the clock in the third quarter.  It was third and one.  The Wildcats were on the Cyclones 14-yard line.  Martinez lines up in the shot gun.  Coach Klien dialed up a pass play.  This was a key point in the game because this was only the third time in the whole game that Kansas State had made it into the red-zone.  The first trip was a touchdown.  The second trip was a lost fumble on the goal line.  This trip resulted in a sack.  Coach Sean Payton states that when you get into the red-zone you have to be able to convert at least one third down.  The field is compressed so red zone offense must be emphasized.  There is no excuse for failing to convert on a third and one in the red-zone.

The third avoidable error builds off the second.  The Wildcats failed to make the chip shot field goal.  At this point in the game, midway thru the third quarter, the Wildcats had left 10 points on the table.  Frankly they left a possible fourteen points on the field because they failed to convert the third down.  The Cyclones promptly marched down the field and kicked the go ahead field goal to take the lead at nine to seven.

The fourth avoidable error is one of the most egregious.  Tight End Ben Sinnott committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the successful go-ahead field goal midway thru the fourth quarter.  There isn’t a penalty in the books that isn’t more avoidable than an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.  It was a 15-yard penalty assessed on the kickoff.  The Wildcats had to kick from their 20-yard line which eventually put the Cyclones at midfield.  The defense stood tall and forced a three and out.  However, the Cyclones punt placed the Wildcats starting position inside their own ten-yard line.  The second and third order effects of this penalty were far reaching but turned out to be non-critical to the end of the game.

The Wildcats then proceeded to commit their fifth and final avoidable error.  They failed to convert a first down and the Wildcat punt placed the Cyclones once again at midfield.  Once again, the offense was sitting at 3rd and one.  Once again Adrian Martinez lined up in the gun.  This time he attempted to run for the first down and was tackled for a loss of three.  It is hard to understand why the Wildcats don’t practice the quarterback sneak, especially with a running quarterback.  With that being said, the defense once again bailed out the Wildcats and forced a fourth down.

With just four minutes left in the game, the Cyclones watched as their last gasp petered out.  Iowa State wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson ran a sideline route and then dropped a perfectly placed ball in his hands.  Hutchinson was by far the Cyclones best offensive player on the field catching eight balls for 104 yards.  Thankfully for the Wildcats he dropped the last pass of the game.

I was once told a story about a doctor who graduated at the bottom of his class.  He still graduated.  He passed his boards.  He has M.D. next to his name.  He is still winning.  Winning by one point is still winning.


Defense Deserves the Game ball

The Wildcat Defense played lights out. They forced the Cyclones to punt 14 times.  They pressured the quarterback all night long sacking the Cyclones signal caller twice.  Felix Anudike Uzomah collected one of those two sacks.  Though the defense spent most of the game on the field, they did not allow a touchdown.  Finally, the defense was called upon to prevent the Cyclones offense from marching into field goal range and they answered the call.  They stood up at the critical points in the game.  They collectively deserve the game ball.

Though I was critical of Adrian Martinez’s ability to convert two third and one situations, Martinez accounted for most of the Wildcats offense this evening.  He was remarkably efficient.  He threw for 246 yards and a touchdown.  He connected on 12 of his 19 throws.  He also ran for another 77 yards.  He was the only Wildcat who rushed for over 40 yards.  The Cyclones game plan centered around taking out half the Wildcat rushing attack and they were successful.  It wasn’t enough to win the game though.

Thankfully the Wildcats have a bye week this week.  Deuce Vaughn left the game with a lower leg injury.  Early in the game linebacker Khalid Dukes had to exit due to a lower leg injury as well.  The down time will give the Wildcats some much needed rest as well as an opportunity to heal.  More importantly, they will have two weeks to study their next opponent.  Texas Christian University is undefeated and will prove to be another test for the Wildcats.  After next week there will only be one undefeated Big 12 team because Oklahoma State plays TCU at Fort Worth.  Hopefully the Wildcats work on some game specific offense tailor made to defeat the Horned Frogs.  For now, the Wildcats enjoy being 3-0 in Big 12 play and 5-1 overall.

Leave a Replay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


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>>


Follow Us

Your The Sports. Your Inbox. Everyday