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Kansas Jayhawks Football vs Kansas State: A (Semi) Statistical Recap

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At least it wasn’t completely awful.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

K-State fans all around me are saying the right things, but you can tell they’re disappointed in what transpired Saturday.

That’s 8 in a row.

Snyder is 21-4 against KU.

Yet another win.

Glad Snyder got #200 against KU.

All true. But I can tell - I can read between the lines. I know what you really wanted.

51-13. 56-16. 59-7. 64-0.

Those days appear to be coming to an end, and I think they know it. Because on Saturday, it wasn’t the Sunflower Beatdown anymore. These Jayhawks didn’t wilt like so many KU squads have over the past 25 years.

These Jayhawks fought, and they almost made it interesting in the end. Oh, they could have wilted. They could have given up and let K-State put up half-a-hundred again. But the final score was 34-19. At one point in the third quarter, it was 27-3 in favor of the Wildcats. It had all the makings of a 55-3 affair. And we know as much as anyone how Bill Snyder loves to crush the ‘Hawks once he has them under his heel; Synder was 21-3 vs KU against the spread prior to this game.

He’s now 21-4.

Victory! Kinda.

KU put up 403 yards of total offense. That’s notable because Kansas hasn’t put up 400+ yards on K-State since 2008 (aka the Jake Sharp game). In the process, Carter Stanley broke Adam Barmann’s total yardage record by a freshman.

The Good

The second half, and specifically the fourth quarter. KU averaged 3.25 yards per play in the first half, and 8.6 YPP in the second half.

Beaty finally - FINALLY - opened up the playbook and look what transpired! It’s weird how throwing the ball down the field instead of toward the sideline gets you touchdowns!

Let your receivers make plays!

And no, BOTC, you don’t get to just delete plays from a football game and pretend they never happened. Please stop doing that.

I will not buy the argument that “oh 95 yards came on one play” or “oh it was in the fourth quarter” or “oh the game was out of reach so it didn’t really matter.” We’ve already talked about Snyder’s record against the spread vs KU. This is the guy who, in the fourth quarter of a 64-0 game, put his starters back on the field when KU crossed midfield for the first time that day, just to keep the Jayhawks off the scoreboard. Save it.

The Bad

The rush defense. You know K-State’s passing attack is, um, not very good, and it took far too long to put 8 and 9 defenders in the box to try and slow down their rush game. Even then, K-State was able to open up some big holes and gain huge chunks of yards. K-State finished the game averaging 5.9 yards per rush after racking up 342 yards on the ground (against only 99 passing).

The Ugly

This may not be fair, but I’m going with the offensive line here. It is noted that after a rough start to the game, the offensive line got better and better, but Carter Stanley was still scrambling around trying to do his best Todd Reesing impersonation throughout most of the afternoon. Additionally, KU was penalized 9 times for 85 yards, with at least two (admittedly questionable) calls on the offensive line, one a clipping call on the first play of the game and one a hold in the fourth quarter as KU attempted a comeback. Then there was also this:

The Stats

Carter Stanley looked like a redshirt freshman starting in his first true road game at times, but also made some great throws and scrambled at exactly the right times as well. He finished 24-44 for 302 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. One INT was very, very bad - right to a K-State defender on the sideline (where else?) - but the other was tipped waaaaaay high in the air and came down in the arms of a K-State defender. Stanley might benefit by adding a pump fake to his arsenal.

Stanley also carried 10 times for 52 yards, getting sacked 4 times.

Ke’aun Kinner was the most effective KU running back on the day (shocker, right?) but that’s not really saying much. Kinner picked up 25 yards on just 9 carries as KU struggled all day long to get anything going in the run game.

Kinner added 20 yards on 2 receptions.

Khalil Herbert had 13 yards on 5 carries.

Taylor Martin had 11 yards on 3 carries, inluding a big fourth-down conversion in the 4th quarter that kept a KU drive alive as the Jayhawks tried to mount a comeback.

LaQuivionte Gonzalez led all receivers with 127 yards on 5 receptions with a TD, but since it was K-State, we can just take away one of those catches that went for 95 yards, right?

Tyler Patrick had 64 yards on just 3 receptions.

Steven Sims Jr had 41 yards on 5 receptions.

Michael Zunica also gets a shout-out; he had just 2 catches for 21 yards but one was a beautiful play-action rollout for a TD.

Fish Smithson was credited with 11 tackles, all solo. Unfortunately, he will live on in K-State highlight reels due to a big stiff-arm by Jesse Ertz in the first quarter:

Mike Lee had 9 tackles, all solo, and enraged the K-State faithful with this blast of whoever this K-State ballcarrier is:

Keith Loneker Jr continued his suprising late-season play by adding 6 tackles, all solo.

Courtney Arnick had 6 tackles, five solo, and added a sack.

Dorance Armstrong Jr finalized his case for all-Big 12 honors with six tackles, five solo, and 3 TFLs. Armstrong currently leads the conference in sacks and TFLs.

Matthew Wyman followed up his great game vs Texas with another solid effort, hitting 2-2 field goals, 34 yards and 44 yards.

Cole Moos punted 5 times for a 41.8 average.