Grading the Game: K-State vs. UTEP

K-State defensive lineman Terrell Clinkscales shoves the helmet off a UTEP offensive lineman's head on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Offense: A

After scoring 10 points on its first four drives, K-State had touchdowns on six straight possessions. Some of those drives were built on running the ball. On others, the Wildcats moved the ball through the air proficiently.

While UTEP’s defense was far from stellar, it was still impressive to see K-State score with such ease. The Wildcats’ offensive line performed well against the Miners as senior quarterback Jake Waters was not sacked or hurried in the game.

K-State finally found some success in the red zone, which is something that plagued the offensive unit against Auburn. They lined up in the Wildcat formation multiple times and sophomore running back Charles Jones ran it in for scores from three, four and nine yards out.

In even better news, the Wildcats were able to move the ball with their second-string players in the game. Sophomore quarterback Joe Hubener led the team on a eight play, 74-yard drive in the fourth quarter.

Defense: A-

K-State’s defensive starters smothered UTEP on Saturday. The Miners didn’t achieve a first down until there was only five minutes left in the second quarter.

The Wildcats’ run defense was fierce as their opponents ran for just 59 yards. It’s the same rushing offense that was averaging 314 yards per game on the ground before the game.

K-State’s second and third-team defense allowed 28 points in the latter half of the game. The Miners’ first touchdown came with 4:22 left in the third quarter and the late scoring onslaught began. They scored on three of their next four drives after the first touchdown.

Special Teams: B+

It was a tale of two halves for K-State’s special teams. In the first half, they blocked a punt and returned a punt for a touchdown. In the second half, they had a punt blocked, a kickoff go out-of-bounds and missed an extra point.

Fortunately for Bill Snyder’s squad, the first half was the half that mattered. In addition to the first blocked punt, K-State got their hands on another. However, due to an inadvertent whistle, the down was replayed.

Freshman Matthew McCrane was perfect on his kicking attempts. He had one field goal from 25 yards and also converted on all seven of his extra points. Senior kicker Jack Cantele missed on his only point after try of the day.

By the Numbers

21 – Years that head coach Bill Snyder has led K-State to a winning record in non-conference play.

40 – Distance of senior running back DeMarcus Robinson’s only touchdown, which was the longest of his career.

143 – Punt returns yards by Lockett, which is second-most in program history

2,469 – Career receiving yards by Lockett. He’s now third in K-State’s history in the category.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t expect anything less than for them to go out and win the Big 12,” UTEP senior quarterback Jameill Showers said in his assessment of K-State.