From The Couch – Current Status Of K-State Football: CONTENDER

From The Couch – Current Status Of K-State Football: CONTENDER

K-State cemented its status as a contender for the Big 12 championship with a 48-0 shellacking of ninth ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday.

I knew coming into the game that Oklahoma State’s defense isn’t good, but I didn’t see a 48 point victory coming. I don’t think anybody did. K-State racked up 495 total yards of offense. Will Howard had 296 yards passing and four touchdowns through the air in what was his best performance as K-State’s starting quarterback. Deuce Vaughn was spectacular once again, rushing for 158 yards and a touchdown and adding a receiving score. Malik Knowles had 113 yards receiving and Kade Warner had 97 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

The defense played great, shutting out what was ranked the 24th best offense in the country going into the game. It was the second shutout for the K-State defense this season. They also shut out South Dakota 34-0 in the first game of the season. It was the first shutout of a conference opponent since the Wildcats beat Texas 23-0 on October 25, 2014. Texas just so happens to be the next opponent on the schedule.

Here are some of the quotes and highlights from the game…

“…this game we thought was going to be less quarterback run and more spinning and throwing the football around and so we made the decision that Will is gonna go…”…Chris Klieman, post-game

JM: It was a game-time decision deciding whether Adrian Martinez or Will Howard would start at quarterback. Martinez didn’t feel 100 percent, so the decision was made to start Will Howard. What I find interesting about Klieman’s quote is the coaching staff knew they were going to pass the ball a lot in this game and felt more comfortable in Howard’s throwing ability than Martinez’s and that played into the decision.

“I felt really confident. After two years of some struggles, some trials, it’s kind of cliche, people say ‘the game will slow down for you,’ and the game has definitely slowed down for me. It’s really cool to have the guys around me that are making the plays that they are, like an offensive line that barely lets me get touched. You look around and you see that look in everybody’s eye and everybody had that look today. We’re not stopping until that clock says zero. We’re keeping the foot on the gas and that’s what we did and it was a heck of a game.”…Quarterback Will Howard, post-game

JM: Has the game slowed down for Howard or was the fact he was playing against the 127th ranked pass defense in the country have a lot to do with it? I have a feeling we will find out next week, should he start against the Texas Longhorns.

“The nice thing is that we haven’t played our best game, and that’s still in front of us.”…Quarterback Will Howard, post-game

JM: It’s pretty exciting to think that this team can be even better than they played yesterday. What’s even more exciting is that they are striving for it.

“We’re a damned good football team and we’re going to fight every single play, no matter if we’re up 25 or down 25, however much is left in the game, we’re going to fight every single play.”…Wide receiver Kade Warner, post-game

JM: Kade Warner was fired up after this game, and for good reason…

“Yeah so it was an inside slot-fade. I actually thought they were cover-two but there was a linebacker on top of me so I was actually going to go inside of him but then at the last second I saw the safety rotate and stepped to me. I was like ‘Oh, it’s man coverage’. So I stuck him and got outside of him, Will [Howard] made a great throw and I finished it off. Great way to start the game.”…Wide receiver Kade Warner, post-game

JM: This was a gutsy call on fourth and 10 early in the game. I say “gutsy” only because it worked! Oklahoma State got the ball back and drove into K-State territory before the K-State defense stopped them on a fourth and eight. It didn’t take long for K-State to take advantage, as two plays later Deuce Vaughn ran for a 62-yard touchdown.

JM: Watch the run by Deuce again. Notice the excellent blocking on the play? Deuce did a great job of juking and sneaking through the holes on his way to pay dirt. This run was a thing of beauty.

JM: A great throw and catch from Howard to Phillip Brooks put K-State up 21-0 and the rout was on. An interception by Julius Brents on Oklahoma State’s next possession gave K-State great field position to score their fourth touchdown of the half….

“Kade’s a highlight machine he’ll tell you and I’m a big believer. That’s why I went really hard to try to make sure he did come back for his sixth year here. You guys know my relationship with his father. And I couldn’t be more excited for Kade, because Kade just makes plays. And he made a couple of really big plays today and he’s one of the best leaders that we have. And I’m excited for Kade.”…Chris Klieman, post-game

JM: Kade’s father, Kurt, also chimed in about Kade’s performance after the game….

JM: K-State wasn’t done scoring in the half. After forcing an Oklahoma State punt, the Wildcats drove down the field and scored another touchdown to go into halftime ahead 35-0.

JM: One of my questions going into the game was field goal kicking. Would Chris Tennant continue kicking duties since he has struggled mightily lately? The answer was no, as Ty Zentner performed double duty in the game, both punting and kicking field goals….

“Ty Zetner was really good today, Phillip Brooks had a big return. You know, we need to play complimentary football and be good in all three phases. And we were really good in all three phases today.”…Chris Klieman, post-game

JM: After two field goals by Zentner, K-State led 41-0, but they weren’t done yet…

JM: This great return by Brooks led to K-State’s final touchdown drive of the day, capped off with a nine-yard touchdown run by DJ Giddens….

JM: Some fans stormed the field when the clock hit zero and quarterback Will Howard was carried off the field. The celebration continued in the locker room…

JM: And nobody was happier for Will Howard than Adrian Martinez, as a photographer captured their embrace in the locker room….

JM: There is not much to be critical of in the game yesterday. Just a great all-around performance. K-State plays Texas next Saturday at 6:00 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in another important game for the Wildcats. With a win, K-State remains alone in second place. With a loss, Texas takes over second place with the tiebreaker over the Wildcats. Every game from here on out is huge.

It’s going to be another long week waiting for this game to kickoff. See you next Saturday at The Bill!

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