Mac Stevenson

One of the main characteristics of Bill Snyder-coached football teams is their consistent improvement during the season. The Wildcats took that first step by defeating Baylor 33-20 last Saturday. Coach Bill Snyder, however, wasn’t pleased with his offense. He said, “It was very, very, inconsistent . . . we made a few big plays, but we need to be more of a big-play offense. That needs to be part of the balance that we have and we do not have quite enough of those big plays. We just have to be better.”
K-State’s defense played a major role in the win over Baylor; the Wildcats held the Bears to 84 rushing yards on 27 carries. Baylor did complete 26 of 44 passes for 291 yards and one touchdown.
The vital defensive series came in the second quarter following a D.J. Reed fumble on a punt return that gave Baylor the ball inside K-State’s 10-yard line. Kansas State’s defense held and blocked the ensuing field goal attempt—that goal-line stand turned the game to K-State’s favor.
QB Jesse Ertz sparked the Wildcats in the vital victory; he had 95 rushing yards on 12 carries and scored 2 TDs. Ertz also completed 7 of 17 passes for 119 yards, one TD, and no interceptions.
Ertz’s passing statistics are misleading; his receivers had a second substandard game, dropping numerous catchable passes. K-State’s receiving corps has to improve if the Wildcats are going to compete for the Big 12 championship.
From here it looks like the coaches should be using WR Dalton Schoen more; he is Kansas State’s most sure-handed receiver. Highly ranked Byron Pringle didn’t catch a pass against Baylor; among the other pass catchers, Isaiah Zuber led the way with four catches for 79 yards.
Kansas State’s offense will have to be significantly improved in this Saturday’s (Oct. 7) game against Texas in Austin. The Longhorns are making progress under new coach Tom Herman. Texas is 2-2 (lost 51-41 to Maryland, beat San Jose State 56-0, lost a 27-24 squeaker to USC at Los Angeles, and defeated Iowa State 17-7 at Ames) and the Longhorns are the best team K-State has faced.
In addition to eliminating dropped passes by the receivers, Kansas State needs better play from the offensive line. The Wildcats have the necessary talent on the OL because most of the starters are back from the 2016 team—they just haven’t played up to their potential so far.
From here on, all the Big 12 games are crucial. K-State is poised to move forward or slide back and the Texas game will go a long way in deciding which way it’s going to be.
After a much-needed bye week, the Kansas football team will play their second Big 12 game (Oct. 7) at home against Texas Tech. Coach David Beaty is in desperate need of another win to renew enthusiasm among his players and the Jayhawk fans.
Texas Tech is one of the few Big 12 teams that KU might upset; however, that possibility fades when you consider that Texas Tech relies on the passing game and KU’s biggest weakness is a pathetic pass defense.
Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech (41-34) last Saturday at Lubbock in a game that could have gone either way. The Red Raiders have a formidable passing game and that doesn’t bode well for KU.
The Kansas basketball team just concluded two weeks of grueling training during the annual “boot camp.” Coach Bill Self was pleased with the results and said, “They did well . . . everyone completed everything and did well.”
Self and his staff of capable assistants got the 2018 recruiting class off to a superb start. KU received commitments from two outstanding big men who will play in the pivot area.
Silvio De Sousa (6-9, 245) is a five-star forward who cast his lot with the Jayhawks about a month ago. De Sousa plays at the IMG Academy and came to the US from Angola.
David McCormick (6-10, 260) is the number-two ranked center in the 2018 class; he will be a senior at the Oak Hill Academy this season. KU’s assistant coach, Jerrance Howard, played a key role in McCormick’s recruitment. McCormick didn’t plan to announce his decision before Late Night in the Phog, but he said, “It just kind of worked out that way . . . I found out it was the right place for me. I went ahead and made the decision and can come celebrate it now.”
De Sousa and McCormick are big-time players; Self has done a masterful job of recruiting since becoming head coach at Kansas. Self not only lands special players, but his strategy on what he needs for future teams has been impeccable.