Grading the game: Lockett, seniors explode against the Jayhawks

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K-State return man Morgan Burns returns a kickoff deep into Kansas territory before he was pulled down by Cassius Sendish on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (Photo by Emily DeShazer | The Collegian)

Offense: A+

The story of the game, other than the thrashing to team handed out, was the play of senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett. The captain was on a mission to break every record he could for the Wildcats.

In the second quarter, Tyler passed his father Kevin in career receptions, notching his 218th reception with the Wildcats. The younger Lockett now sits at 222 receptions after breaking the record that had stood since the 1995-96 season.

Later in the quarter, Tyler tied his father’s school record for career receiving touchdowns with his 26th overall. He ended the game with nine receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

In his last home game as a Wildcat, senior quarterback Jake Waters started the game on fire, with a 7-of-9 stretch for 120 yards and a touchdown. Against an in-state rival, it’s hard to start any better than that.

Waters made good decisions throughout the game, rarely putting his team in bad situations. The Council Bluffs, Iowa native finished the game with 294 passing yards and four touchdowns

The running back combination of senior DeMarcus Robinson and sophomore Charles Jones kept the Wildcats offense from stalling in short-yardage situations. The duo combined for 116 yards, with Jones notching a touchdown.

Abilene native Curry Sexton was another senior who wrapped up his Bill Snyder Family Stadium career with a top-notch performance. In his final home game, he notched 141 yards and a touchdown, complimenting Lockett’s spectacular game.

Defense: A-

The Wildcats defense got back to their normal, ball-hawking ways against the out-matched Jayhawks. Kansas came into the game averaging 335.7 per contest, which is the lowest mark in the conference. They also also have the worst pass and rush offenses in the conference.

The Wildcats held the Jayhawks to 197 total yards while forcing them to punt six times. They also managed to force two turnovers, which gave their offense every opportunity to run up the score on Kansas.

The secondary was the catalyst for defensive coordinator Tom Hayes’ unit, forcing the Jayhawks into many bad situations and almost coming away with more big plays than they finished with. The secondary worked miracles early in the game, forcing two interceptions within the first 10 minutes.

For what it’s worth, every offense do have flashes of brilliance, no matter how bad it gets. Lucky for the Wildcats, it was just a flash in the pan and didn’t affect the game at all.

Special Teams: A+

After the Jayhawks marched down the field and scored their first touchdown on a Nick Harwell reception, reserve defensive tackle DeAndre Roberts blocked the PAT and Morgan Burns followed the play with a 65-yard kick return. The next kick return for the Wildcats featured Lockett on a 46-yard dash.

On the other end, freshman kicker Matthew McCrane nailed two long field goals in the game. The first came on a 41-yard boot and an incredible 52-yard followed soon after.

Emilio Rivera is a sophomore in mass communications.

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