I took a trip down to Arlington this weekend with my son and my parents to watch the kickoff classic between K-State and Stanford. It was awesome to see so much purple everywhere! I’d estimate about 25,000 K-Staters made the trip. They were loud, boisterous and extremely happy to see their Wildcats. I got home this afternoon and watched my recording of the game. Here are some highlights, starting with the comments of the ESPN Gameday crew before the game…
“Pac 12 has an opportunity to make some statements today. Stanford and K-State. Stanford on the road.”…Rece Davis, ESPN College Gameday
JM: He left it at “Stanford on the road,” like they were traveling to Manhattan. Strange.
“K-State has too much offense for Stanford’s defense, so I’m going K-State.”…Desmond Howard
JM: Desmond Howard was prophetic. The others on the Gameday crew…not so much.
“Kansas State over here as well. That’s my second favorite team.”…Kane Brown, ESPN College Gameday, celebrity guest picker
JM: Who is Kane Brown and why is K-State his second favorite team? These are questions that were never answered in the clip that I saw.
“You have a song called ‘Lose It?’ Yeah, you just lost it. Stanford. Easy. Stanford.”…Lee Corso, ESPN College Gameday
JM: Hey Corso, it might be time to hang it up.
“I’m going with you. I’m going with Stanford.”…Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Gameday
“K-State strikes first on the feet of their senior quarterback Skylar Thompson.”…Aaron Goldsmith, FS1
JM: Thompson scored the first touchdown of the game, keeping the ball on a zone-read and running right over and through Stanford defensive back Kyu Blu Kelly. Kelly is not a small defensive back. He’s listed at 6’1” and 185 pounds. Skylar ran through him and dropped him to the turf on the run, which was probably Thompson’s best play of the day. An EXCELLENT block by Nick Lenners allowed Thompson a wide-open lane to the end zone.
“Gamebreaker 59 yard touchdown score by Deuce Vaughn!”...Aaron Goldsmith, FS1
JM: The Cats had 3rd and 13 from their own 41 and called a running play to Vaughn. Did they see something with the Stanford defense that prompted this play-call or was this all Deuce Vaughn? Klieman was asked about it in his postgame presser.
“It was a call, because of how they looked and how they rushed the passer. And we thought that if he got through that first level, he had to make one guy miss, and I’ll take my chances with 22 [Deuce Vaughn]. He made a big play.“…Chris Klieman, Post-game
JM: All we can do is take his word for it, but K-State had been stuffed on the previous two rushing plays and if he had been stuffed here, the boo-birds would have been out in force. However, Deuce seemed to confirm that the coaching staff knew what to call if a situation like this presented itself in the game..
“Yes, sir. The coaches – all throughout the week, we had seen that look, whenever it was a third-and-long, they would really be in a really soft coverage to the point where it kind of dropped everybody outside. Just kind of like drop back into a zone to the point where you can’t get to the outside or anything like that.
So left the open in the middle. And then whenever you get it through, it’s one-on-one with the
safety. All week we’ve been saying obviously they’re going to make somebody miss in the
middle. And it presented itself, and they put me in a great position to go make a play.“…Deuce Vaughn, post-game
JM: Ok, I will give the coaches kudos on this one. Great call.
“West gets picked off. Intercepted by the Wildcats. It’s the transfer Russ Yeast!”…Aaron Goldsmith, FS1
JM: Stanford was driving down the field after the Vaughn touchdown run and Stanford quarterback Jack West through a pass right to Yeast. It was a gimme, but I’ll take it.
“His first ever attempt in division one ball and he is true right down the middle.”…Aaron Goldsmith, FS1
JM: Looks like Junior Taiten Winkel won the starting nod at placekicker. His 40 yarder with 10 minutes left in the game put K-State ahead 17-0, the first score of the second half for either team.
“And ANOTHER interception! TJ Smith this time! Knocked out of bounds inside the 15!”…Aaron Goldsmith, FS1.
JM: West threw another gimme right to Smith. Again, I’ll take it. Two plays later, Skylar Thompson scored his second rushing touchdown on the day to put the Cats up 24-0.
“That’s BULLSHIT!”…Chris Klieman to the referee after K-State linebacker Daniel Green’s targeting foul
JM: The huge Jumbotron at AT&T Stadium caught Klieman just as he was chewing out the referee after Green was called for targeting. The call meant that he was kicked out of the game and will be forced to miss the first half of next week’s game. This was a tough call because Green lowered his head to make the tackle, and the receiver then lowered his head, and the two hit helmet to helmet. It was probably an unavoidable call, but it sure didn’t look intentional on Green’s part. Klieman sure didn’t think so at the time.
“A touchdown for Stanford.”…Aaron Goldsmith, FS1
JM: Stanford scored a meaningless touchdown near the end of the game for the final 24-7 margin. This allowed FS1 to show Emmitt Smith and his family for the 57th time during the game. This time celebrating a touchdown.
“I thought it was special. I mean, just looking out there and seeing our families, everybody who made the trip to come see us and spend time with us. You know, I probably had 30 or 40 people there for me today, making the trip down, you know. It means a lot, you know. And especially my parents and little brother.
And, you know, it’s my last ride. And for everybody to come down and after what had happened last year, this game meant a lot to me and my family. And I think my dad was more excited to get out — for me to get out there than I was. And I was really excited. So it’s getting to see our whole fan base down here make the trip. And our student section, our band, being able to have that atmosphere back just felt amazing and felt like a freshman again. And that was a long time ago. So it was exciting. I’m super excited to get home next week and get that place packed and get that home crowd going again.”…Skylar Thompson, post-game
JM: The atmosphere at the game was amazing. K-State fans also packed the Texas Live bar and restaurant district near the stadium both Friday night and Saturday after the game. Skylar Thompson had a lot of family there, but a lot of the other player’s families were there as well. I saw a picture of Kurt Warner on Twitter wearing his purple K-State gear at the game. I was able to visit with the father of Eli and Jake Huggins after the game at Texas Live and he is a great guy and it sounds like they have a great family. This morning we saw Reggie Stubblefield’s mother down at breakfast at the hotel wearing her “Stubbs BBQ” shirt and spoke with her briefly. This was definitely a bowl game-like environment and it was a blast. It also helped that K-State got the easy victory!
Below are some pictures I took this weekend I thought I’d share.