By Mark Janssen for K-StateSports EXTRA
It was vintage Kansas State football that put this one in the victory column early.
Kansas State 52, Miami 13!
“We just played sound football with everyone doing their job,” said linebacker Justin Tuggle. “Did I see this coming? No, but we just did what we needed to do.”
That’s on offense, on defense and on special teams. In particular, K-State’s first-half play was pristine in mounting a 24-6 lead.
Offense: The Wildcats mixed up 30 up-the-middle to reverse rushing plays for 118 yards with a 6-of-7 short-range passing attack adding 98 yards as they scored on their first four possessions to take a 24-3 lead at one point.
In the half, the diversity of the offense resulted in nine plays of at least 10 yards – four passing, five rushing.
“Very balanced and very efficient,” receiver Chris Harper said of the half. “We were rolling today.”
K-State possessed the ball for 19:21 in the first stanza, converting 5-of-7 third-down plays on its way to a 216-yard first half.
Of the play of the offensive line, coach Bill Snyder used the words “… they competed, played with spirit and fought the battle.”
Defense: K-State held Miami out of the end zone and to just 159 yards of first-half offense.
Without a sack last week, Adam Davis had a pair and Tuggle had one resulting in two forced turnovers by Davis that were recovered by Arthur Brown and Ryan Mueller.
“I feel real good about things,” said Tuggle. “We have a lot of speed out there and a lot of guys who want to go out and make plays. We know we don’t have to be a hero on every play, but just be ready when they come our way.”
Always important is stopping the run, which is exactly what K-State did allowing Miami just 17 net yards on 14 first-half snaps.
“When you’re playing a team with a lot of speed like Miami, the first thing you have to do is stop the run,” said linebacker Tre Walker. “We did that, and put them in some positions they didn’t want to be in.”
Special Teams: Anthony Cantele hung two kickoffs inside the 5-yard-line that Miami could only return to the 18- and 20-yard lines, plus had another booted deep into the end zone.
And, there was the Tyler Lockett factor with a 36-yard kickoff return and a 12-yard punt return that resulted in relatively short scoring drives.
Oh yes, the Wildcats also won the turnover count, 2-0, and played penalty-free football going into intermission.
Snyder summarized the win by only saying, “We got better, we played with more consistency and we got off to a better start than we did last week, but I don’t know where I would rank this one.”
Score: K-State 52, Miami 13
Yardage: K-State 498, Miami 262
Per Carry Average: K-State 4.8; Miami 1.4
Turnover Margin: K-State wins it, 3-0
Penalties: K-State 2 for 12 yards; Miami 4 for 30 yards
Time of Possession: K-State 37:16; Miami 22:44
Plays of at least 10 yards: K-State 19; Miami 5
Punts: K-State 1, Miami 4
WHAT WAS THAT?: During an otherwise picturesque half of football, K-State coach Bill Snyder called a timeout late in the first half to set up a 3rd-and-goal play from the 1-yard line.
Klein faked a jump pass, but instead sent a soft behind-the-back no-look pitch back to Chris Harper. The play resulted in a loss of 19 yards.
“Too fancy,” Snyder said of the play.
But it was an attempt that excited the players, at least to try.
Quarterback Klein gave an “Ahhhh shoot,” when asked about the trickery.
“Our timing got a little disrupted and I had to rush it a little bit. It’s one of those plays where if it works it’s amazing, but it didn’t work.”
“It’s the first time we ever called it, but we’ve worked on it and I thought we had it down,” said Harper. “People said had it worked I could have walked into the end zone.”
DEEE-FENSE: K-State started the first 116:09 of the season without allowing a touchdown. After keeping Missouri State out of the end zone, and Miami as well until the 3:51 mark. The lone Miami touchdown was one of just a 17-yard drive that followed a 77-yard kickoff return.
Three other times Miami threatened to score touchdowns, but came up with only two field goals. In Snyder’s words, “We just stiffened up down there.”
• First Quarter – Miami had the ball 1st-and-Goal at the K-State-10, but a 6-yard sack by Adam Davis was the big play in the stand that resulted in a 32-yard field goal.
• Second Quarter – In the closing ticks of the half, the Hurricanes advanced to the K-State-10, but settled on a 27-yard field goal.
• Third Quarter – Miami had the ball 1st-and-Goal from the K-State 6, but an 8-yard sack by Arthur Brown was huge in the stand. Miami was held off the scoreboard, as the Wildcats forced Hurricanes’ quarterback Stephen Morris into a scramble on 4th-and-Goal that resulted in him stepping out at the K-State 3.
“Those were very big,” said Walker of the stands. “The little things matter so much in this game and when you make something positive happen early, it affects the rest of the day. When you make teams make a decision to kick a field goal, that’s very crucial.”
K-State forced three turnovers and had a total of five sacks, plus five other arrests for negative yards.
A total of seven players were in on tackles for negative yards – Arthur Brown, Justin Tuggle, Adam Davis, John Sua, Vai Lutui, Javonta Boyd and Jonathan Truman.
QUOTE OF THE GAME: Asked about K-State’s progress, Collin Klein said, “No doubt there was a step taken, but it was only a step. (Smiling) Coach is rubbing off on me because the only thing on my mind is the two field goals we had to kick instead of scoring touchdowns. We did some good things and made some progress, but there are things we still need to shore up.”
QUOTE OF THE GAME II: Prior to allowing a 77-yard kickoff return in the final minutes of the game, Snyder had been tickled to death with the play of the kickoff unit, which prior to that had limited Miami to just 83 yards on five returns.
Going into the last K-State kickoff, Snyder said, “I stuck my ugly head in the huddle and told them, `You are one kickoff away from having the best performance by a kickoff unit in Kansas State history.’ Bad choice of words.”
KLEIN REPORT: With his 281 yards of total offense – 71 rushing and 210 passing, Collin Klein moved up to No. 10 on the all-time K-State charts at 4,152.
SAMS ATTACK: For the second game in a row Daniel Sams entered the game late at quarterback and scored a touchdown. Saturday, it was on his first snap of the game with a 15-yard run up the middle upping the count to 45-6.
On the next possession, Sams struck again for an 11-yard dash-for-six.
Sams would end up with 47 yards rushing on three carries and two touchdowns.
GAME BALLS: To all who played … but in particular:
Offense – Collin Klein had 281 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns; John Hubert netted 106 yards on 19 carries; the offensive line provided the holes and blocks for a 498-yard day.
Defense – Adam Davis with two forced fumbles; Arthur Brown had a team-high of 10 tackles, a fumble recovery and two stops for negative yards.
Special Teams – Anthony Cantele was on-target with kickoffs whether directional, or kicked deep; Tyler Lockett had a 36-yard kickoff return and a 12-yard punt return to set up scores.
• The Cats had six rushing TDs – Klein from 6, 1 and 1 yards; Sams from 15 and 11 yards, and Hubert from 4 yards.
• K-State totaled 498 yards – 288 rushing and 210 passing.
• Among those recognized during the game was Olympic Silver Medalist in the high jump Erik Kynard.
• What a day, 64-degrees at kickoff with just a smidgen of a breeze.
• The attendance was 48,843 on Harley Day. In case you’re wondering, K-State is 11-5 all-time in Harley Day Games.
• K-State is now 73-15 all-time in non-conference regular-season games under Bill Snyder.
UP NEXT: Kansas State plays its third straight home game with North Texas providing the opposition in a 6:10 kickoff at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The game is a sellout and will be broadcast to a nationwide audience on FSN.
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen or Kansas State Assistant AD for Communications Kenny Lannou.