By Corey Dean
After K-State fell short 26-13 to #7 ranked Stanford Coach Snyder summed up the Cats performance with “we were inconsistent consistently”. A theme that was shared among the players after the game where things seemed just out of reach and the offense just enough out of synch to keep K-State on the wrong side of the scoreboard despite out gaining Stanford 335 yards to 272 yards on the night.
Preseason Heisman favorite Christian McCaffrey was still the deciding factor for Stanford despite being largely held in check by the K-State defense. It only took two plays for McCaffery to make a huge difference, with his two touchdown runs of 35 and 41 yards accounting for well over half of his 126 total rushing yards in the contest. Stanford also got a great game out of QB Ryan Burns in his first collegiate start, completing his first 10 pass attempts including a 40 yard touchdown strike to Michael Rector on the first play of the 2nd quarter.
For K-State, the night was a rough one on offense. Quarterbacks Jesse Ertz and Joe Hubener both struggled to complete passes on the night, connecting on just 19 of 41 total attempts and each QB tossing a costly 2nd half interception. Ertz finally broke through late in the 4th quarter with a 15 yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Zuber with 1:49 remaining that cut the Stanford lead to 19-13. After an unsuccessful onside kick attempt, McCaffery slammed the door shut with his final TD run on the very next play. K-State was lead in rushing by Charles Jones 43 yards on 8 carries, but was held to just 92 yards as a team on 32 attempts.
The defense highlighted the night for K-State, breaking a 13 game streak of Stanford scoring 30 or more points, and held the Cardinal to just 70 total yards in the second half. Elijah Lee led the way on defense with 12 tackles, tying his career high and senior safety Dante Barnett had a great return from last year’s injury with 2.5 tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Charmeachealle Moore sparked the Cats in the third quarter with a 35 yard fumble return, just stepping out of bounds on what initially looked like a touchdown for the Cats.
K-State now has some extra time to regroup with next weekend’s open date before facing Florida Atlantic at home on September 17th.