Mac Stevenson
Kansas State lost more than a football game at Vanderbilt last Saturday. The Wildcats and their fans had lofty aspirations for K-State’s chance to be high in the national rankings and perhaps even making the national championship playoffs. Those dreams are kaput.
K-State’s defense played admirably against Vanderbilt, but the highly touted offense sputtered and stalled throughout the ballgame. Coach Bill Snyder took responsibility for the 14-7 loss and said, “I didn’t have our football team as well prepared as they needed to be to win . . . there’s not the discipline that we need to have on our football team.”
Senior QB Jesse Ertz has played sensational football for K-State in many meaningful games, but last Saturday wasn’t one of them. Ertz was the Wildcats’ only weapon in the rushing game; he gained 126 yards on 24 carries and scored K-State’s lone touchdown. But his passing was abysmal. Ertz completed just 10 of 28 passes for 76 yards and he threw two costly interceptions. The lack of a passing attack wasn’t all Ertz’s fault; the receiving corps had a terrible game with numerous drops that should have been completions.
Despite the offensive shortcomings, the factor that was most costly to K-State came from the replay booth. After Kendall Adams returned a fumble for a TD, the replay official overturned the refs call on the field. That was an inexcusable error and it affected a lot of dedicated people in a negative way.
Snyder has to fine-tune K-State’s offense and reduce the dependence on Ertz in the running game; otherwise, K-State’s QB is going to take such a beating that he’ll never last through the season.
The Wildcats have a much-needed bye week before they open the conference season with a home game against Baylor on September 30. Kansas State will still be a factor in the Big 12 race; however, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the two best teams in the league.
No matter how well the Wildcats rebound, the albatross named Vanderbilt will plague them for the rest of the 2017 season. Nevertheless, Snyder will lead his 26th team to another quality bowl game. There’s another stunning statistic to consider: K-State’s two-deep offensive depth chart (22 players) has just one senior (Jesse Ertz) on that roster. Kansas State will bounce back and have another in a long line of highly successful seasons under Bill Snyder.
The Kansas football program is, once again, in dire straits. KU was soundly trounced for the second week in a row by two very mediocre Mid-America Conference teams (Central Michigan and Ohio).
This is David Beaty’s third season as KU’s head coach and there’s been no notable improvement. His coaching staff has been in a constant state of fluctuation and the recruiting has been inept.
KU’s football future depends on the new Kansas president, Dr. Douglas Girod, and whether or not he has the necessary interest in or knowledge of what it takes to assemble a competitive Big 12 football team.
University presidents hire the athletic director who hires the head football coach. If that chain of events isn’t completed successfully, severe problems follow. That’s what has happened at KU over and over again. For decades, Kansas has had numerous presidents that have hired substandard ADs.
Dr. Girod has decisions to make; he can be proactive and make needed changes or he can take the easy road and leave the football program in its pathetic status quo.
The Kansas City Chiefs saved the weekend for football fans in the state of Kansas by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles (27-20) last Sunday—it was the epitome of a smash-mouth NFL game.
Second-year DT Chris Jones (6-6, 308) stole the show for the Chiefs; he had three sacks and an interception that was the key play of the game. Jones play was superb from start to finish.
KC played very well coming off their exceptional performance in the season opener against New England. QB Alex Smith was harassed continually by Philadelphia’s pass rush, but he came through when it counted.
Getting off to a fast start is crucial in the NFL because every week is a challenge; KC has certainly done that. The Chiefs are well-coached by Andy Reid and they are a Super Bowl caliber team at this stage in the season.
In the NFL, injuries can riddle a team in the course of just one or two games. But this Chiefs team has excellent depth because of the masterful management of the NFL Draft by Reid and the front office.
Kansas City has it going and the Chiefs’ fans on the Central Plains are in for an exciting and entertaining NFL season.