How does an offense that scored 39 points only warrant a C-? Well, 292 total yards in regulation with an average of 4.7 per play isn’t exactly stellar. The Wildcats managed to bump that up to 355 total offensive yards and averaged five yards per play after triple overtime, but that still just isn’t good enough.
K-State also still does not have that consistent, go-to offensive playmaker. I will admit that both redshirt freshman receiver Dominique Heath and senior receiver Kody Cook are showing signs of possibly being that player, but so far, nothing is really definite. The K-State offense just never really looked like they were in control of the game until the fourth quarter.
If there is any credit I’ll give, it is that once the fourth quarter rolled around, the Wildcats looked good. Junior quarterback Joe Hubener was testing the opposing secondary, his receivers were making really tough grabs and redshirt freshman running back Justin Silmon was making several gains, basically leading a drive in the third quarter that led to a field goal by senior place kicker Jack Cantele.
Look, I’m not giving the K-State defense a C+ because they conceded 33 points — that happens when you play 3OT.
I’m giving them a C+ because they allowed 314 passing yards from LA Tech QB Jeff Driskel, but I will give credit to the K-State defensive line in that they did sack Driskel five times.
However, the K-State secondary may have been the issue. Of course, with senior safety Dante Barnett’s injury sidelining him for the second straight game, struggles may ensue. But that is no excuse. Zero interceptions on 51 throws is odd, and 30 of those attempted passes were completed. With all due respect to the Conference USA, allowing 451 total offensive yards against a Conference USA team just isn’t that great.
Special Teams: B+
Perhaps the brightest spot of the K-State season and the place they haven’t really had to worry about thus far is the special teams unit.
They forced and recovered a fumble by Louisiana Tech kick returner Carlos Henderson. The K-State special teams unit allowed a 26-yard punt return, but that was the longest they allowed all day. Though they never scored, on a few incidents they put the K-State offense in a good position. Heath put the K-State offense on the seven yard line with a 58-yard punt return. Senior Morgan Burns even had a kickoff returned for 30 yards.
Also, senior place kicker Jack Cantele might have been one of the most crucial players of the game, going 4-4 in field goals including a 44 yarder.