Time of possession isn’t a “sexy stat” in and around college football these days. For many, it’s old-school, bland and lacking a flare for the dramatic.
However, none of that is the case for No. 11 K-State.
“I think it’s important every week,” head coach Bill Snyder said Tuesday at K-State’s weekly press conference. “I can only say for us, (because) that may not be true for other teams. Some teams have very minimal possession time, but they’re scoring in 35 seconds every possession, so that’s one way to do it. But it benefits us to be able to have a decent advantage in regards to possession time for a variety of reasons — it’s beneficial to your defense as well as beneficial to your offense, and even field position in regards to that.”
The Wildcats (6-1, 4-0) showcased their ability to dominate time of possession last weekend in a 23-0 shutout win over Texas. The offense was stagnant in large portions of the contest, forcing freshman kicker Matthew McCrane to hit three field goals to create a gap between them and Texas.
Having the ball for nearly 40 minutes proved to be the difference in the end as K-State earned its first overall shutout since September 2011 and its first in conference since the 2003-04 season.
“I know when our offense takes their time on the field that’s time the other team can’t score,” senior linebacker Jonathan Truman said. “It’s big for us and nice to get the defense some rest.”
Saturday was the fourth time this season K-State edged out their opponent in time of possession, and the third time they did so by a considerable margin. On Oct. 4, K-State held the ball for 40:09 in a 45-13 blowout victory over Texas Tech, their largest margin so far this season.
Of course, as Snyder pointed out, time of possession isn’t always a proper indicator of success. K-State had the ball for only 28 minutes against UTEP on Sept. 27, but went on to blow out the Miners 58-28.
Against a better opponent in Auburn, Texas, K-State was on the losing end of time possession and, inevitably, the final score.
As the Wildcats prepare to take on more Auburn’s than UTEP’s in the final third of their season, time of possession will likely play a critical roll in whether K-State can remain in the thick of the Big 12 title hunt and, even, the first-ever College Football Playoff.
Snyder discusses move with Currie to re-open dorms for Kansas game
The K-State Athletic Department announced Tuesday that Snyder and Athletic Director John Currie are teaming up to ensure that students can make it out to the Kansas game on Nov. 29 by jointly donating $5,000 to re-open the residence halls early after Thanksgiving.
With the donation, students can return to the dorms as early as 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, rather than pay a $16 per-night fee to return earlier than the originally-scheduled date of Nov. 30.
When asked about the decision Tuesday, Snyder indicated it was important to have the student body present for an in-state rivalry game.
“By playing over Thanksgiving, we were hard-pressed to feel as though we would have a significant crowd in terms of our student body because of the cost of opening the dorms, and they wouldn’t have a place to stay if they came back for the ballgame,” Snyder said. “I know they want to come back to the ballgame, the vast majority that can are close enough. With the dorms begin closed, it took an additional amount of money to open them up, so we pitched in.”
The move not only caught the attention of those on social media Tuesday, but members of the football team as well.
“It’s awesome,” senior linebacker Jonathan Truman said. “I’m just glad to hear they did that so students can come back and be at the game. That’s huge, I’m just glad they can do that. Wanting to have the stadium full and together on game day means a lot to the players and to the fans as well.”
Kickoff time for the Sunflower Showdown will be announced 12 days prior to the game.