KSU football kicks off

Ahh. I just returned home from the first KSU home football game of the 2008 season. K-State had a good outing and looks much improved from the rather discouraging state at the end of last season. Because I could talk/blog about my post-game notes for quite an extensive time, I will restrain myself and limit this blog to only one highlight and one criticism.

Let's start with the not-so-great: tackling. It was a little rough. Not the worst, but should have been much better against the likes of North Texas. It wasn't just that we were missing tackles, it was that we seemed slow of of the line of scrimmage, slow off our blocks. We should be bigger, stronger, and markedly faster than a team like NT and they were definitely beating us around the outside. They didn't even really try to go up the middle and they certainly didn't try to go around Ian Campbell (because he's awesome and back playing his natural DE position...yay!). Still they were beating us to the outsides and we were missing tackles because we were trying to chase them down, instead of staying with them. Now, they do have an incredible QB/receiver combo that teamed up for quite a lot of yards last year...our objective was to keep the receiver in front of us, sacrifice the shorter yardage so as not to give up longer plays. We were successful in that.

Now, the positive: offensively we were much more efficient than I expected us to be. We rarely lost yards in a play. There were even a couple of QB miscues (one bad hand-off for Freeman and a mishandled snap for Kauffman) that could have easily turned into big losses but still resulted in positive yardage. For the most part, we moved forward. We had very few penalties, very few turnovers, we were efficient in 3rd down conversions, and our first team offense scored on 6 out of 7 offensive series. Encouraging. This week's vote for most improved player: LaMarc Brown (#7). Proved he indeed had very good hands and could become a big time play-maker and this due to hard work. He sticks around after practice to catch an extra 40 or 50 passes from any person willing to throw to him. Well done.

Ok. So there was a lot of in-between...but I'm sure that will surface in my blogs as the season continues. For now, this is all I have to say (I know, self-editing...shocker).


Kyle said...

My how times have changed. My freshman year at K-State, we beat North Texas (which was then a I-AA team) by a score of 20-19. The goal posts came down, because it was the first win in two years.

I didn't get to go to the game this time. *sniffle*

Mendy said...

i remember that game! it was in 1992. it was our first win in 30 games! yikes. um, so what's with your punk brother?!?!?! he tells me to start blogging about sports, develop my "sports personality" and he never reads or comments?! what the?! kelly by the way...not kirk.

Kyle said...

That's 'cause I love you guys more. ;-)

...and that was in '89, not '92. Hmmm... this page says it was 20-17. Surely they can't be right and my memory wrong! Hehe. That was also the year of this article

In '92 we were getting better, because I remember Chad May playing in '93, when we went to the bowl game.

Mendy said...

you're right...1989. was NT called North Texas State back then? because that is who we are listed as playing and beating for the first time in 30 games. for some reason, my memory always has us winning that first game against Northern Illinois. we played them the previous week and lost, according to the KSU sports website. surely my memory can't be faulty.

Mendy said...

Copper Bowl...by the way.

Kyle said...

Yup - "North Texas State" back then. Same school, different name.

I do have a funny story about that game. I knew Ruth at that point, but we hadn't yet started dating. She was living at Smurthwaite at the time and her mother had come down to visit for the weekend. They heard a great commotion outside, so they looked out the window. Here came the goalposts down Manhattan Ave. Her mother was aghast - "What in the world is that????" Ruth shrugged and nonchalantly said "Goal posts. We must have won the football game."

...and yes, I knew it was the "Weiser Lock Copper Bowl". Scary, huh?

Kyle said...

...and a couple more comments from that year. I went to see K-State play Mizzou. It was a 1:10 kickoff. I went to the stadium at 12:30 and bought a ticket - lower level about row 20 or so.

Without checking records, I seem to remember that was a 35-7 loss. And they were #6 in the Big 8 - KU was #7.

Our last regular season game was against nationally-ranked Oklahoma. There was a big march from Marlatt Elementary to the stadium. It was called the "It just doesn't matter any more party."