K-State Dominant against the Longhorns

| October 27, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Cole Manbeck


Kansas State’s offense possessed the football for 39 minutes and 14 seconds against Texas on Saturday. Now, those numbers aren’t shocking to K-State fans as there are typically a couple of games a year where the Wildcats absolutely dominate time of possession. But you can bet that number shocks Texas. The last team to possess the football more than 38 minutes against the Longhorns last came in 2007, when Texas A&M controlled it for 40:06.


Texas ran 52 offensive plays on Saturday. That’s the lowest number of plays the Longhorns have run in a game since at least 2007. That number likely goes much further back than that, but I’ll be honest, I started to get the feeling I could be thumbing through Texas’ season-by-season results for quite some time and wanted to get this blog published prior to the Oklahoma State game this upcoming Saturday.


K-State had a fresh defense throughout the game due to its ability to get off the field on third downs (Texas was 4-13 on third-down conversions) and because K-State’s offense was efficient, with the exception of three field goals. K-State kept its defense off the field by converting on 9-of-17 third-down attempts. The Wildcats’ 53-percent success rate on third down was the highest conversion rate Texas’ defense has allowed all season.


K-State held the Texas offense to 3.8 yards per offensive play, the lowest average the Longhorns have averaged all season. Tyrone Swoopes, who had thrown for 655 yards, three touchdowns and completed 64 percent of his passes in his last two games, averaged just 4.2 yards per pass attempt, tying a season-low in a game for Texas. The Longhorns gained 196 yards of offense on the day, their worst output since Sept. 18, 2010, when they had 144 yards of offense against Texas Tech.


K-State’s defense set the tone early. On the Longhorns’ first five offensive series, they ran 22 plays for 39 yards, just 1.8 yards per play. That’s terrific. But if you take away a 7-play, 31-yard drive in the middle of those five offensive possessions, Texas ran 15 plays for 8 yards of offense on four offensive series.


The Wildcats buckled down at the most crucial of times. From the 2:59-mark of the first quarter until the 13:12 mark of the fourth quarter, Texas had six consecutive drives that reached either the 50-yard line or reached K-State’s side of the field. Yet the Longhorns never scored.


The most critical part of the game came in the second quarter. K-State had completely dominated the opening quarter, yet only led 6-0. K-State’s offense proceeded to go three-and-out on back-to-back possessions deep in its own territory. Following the first three-and-out, Texas’ drive started at K-State’s 40-yard line. The Longhorns got the ball to the K-State 16, and if you’re like me, you were thinking K-State might end up trailing after dominating the first 15 minutes. That would have been deflating. But The Wildcats once again locked down, as Texas lost 20 yards over the next two plays and had to punt.


K-State’s offense proceeded to go three-and-out once again, giving Texas the ball at its own 45-yard line. The Wildcats defense forced a three-and-out.


But there was still a murky feeling regarding the K-State offense. In the previous two offensive series, Waters had been sacked twice, short-hopped a throw to an open Curry Sexton and overthrew Deante Burton. With 8:10 left in the opening half, K-State had the ball at its own 15-yard line. It lost 3 yards on its first two plays. And then one of the biggest plays of the entire game occurred: Waters delivered a strike on third-and-13 to Sexton over the middle of the field for 24 yards. K-State went on to execute a 12-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that chewed up nearly 6 minutes of clock. After that, it never felt like Texas had much of a shot.


That drive got Waters going. He started the game 4-for-7 for just 22 yards passing and was averaging just 3.1 yards per passing attempt. On the touchdown drive, Waters was 3-of-4 passing for 63 yards, and it started a stretch where he completed 5 of his next 6 passes for 90 yards, an average of 15 yards per passing attempt.


K-State’s offense wasn’t flashy against Texas, but it was sound. Texas entered Saturday’s contest with the Big 12’s best pass defense. The Longhorns were in the top-10 nationally in passing efficiency defense and their 24 sacks ranked 13th in the country. The Wildcats’ offensive line allowed just two sacks, marking only the second game this season Texas hasn’t had at least three sacks in a game. The Wildcats averaged 7.5 yards per pass attempt. The previous season-high in yards per pass attempt allowed by Texas staunch defense: 6.6 vs. UCLA in September. K-State made Texas respect its running game, and while the yards per carry weren’t great, it was effective.


And the end result was a dominating K-State victory.


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