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).