Score: NDSU 24, KSU 21
It was over when: North Dakota State’s Brock Jensen ran for a one-yard touchdown with 28 seconds remaining in the game.
Player of the Game: Sam Ojuri had 10 carried for 126 yards.
1. The defense has issues.
There was a stretch where Blake Slaughter was the only player in the from seven who appeared capable of making a tackle. The middle of the defense, particularly in the secondary, was eaten alive by tight ends – especially in the red zone.
The final drive by the Bison in the fourth quarter was an eighteen play, 80-yard, eight minutes and thirty second display of the Bison’s will over the Wildcats. When the Bison needed a key play on third down, they got it. There seemed to be nothing the Wildcats could do to stop them.
It was ugly.
2. What happened to the running game?
K-State managed 40 yards on the ground. Forty. And Daniel Sams had 17 of them on two carries.
Whatever was going on with John Hubert is disturbing. He did not seem to be running with the same aggressiveness as he was last season. Is he hurt? Did the heat get to him? He seemed so slow.
3. Offensive line
Speaking of the running game, the offensive line was awful. There were few holes for running backs, and Jake Waters was getting crushed on medium and deep drop backs.
This is probably the most disturbing thing to come out of Friday night because the offensive line is supposed to be the strength of the team. If the line is having issues, then winning games this season is going to be very tough for the Wildcats. While I expect these problems to be fixed, I also wasn’t anticipating there to be problems to fix from this unit.
Bill Snyder has a lot of holes to fill this week.
1. Jake Waters
Waters made some pretty throws to Tramain Thompson (45 yards) and Tyler Lockett (56 yards) that Colin Klein probably couldn’t make. There were on the money, in stride, and Thompson and Lockett had no issues running under the pass and coasting to the end zone.
With the right play-calling, Waters could be a very effective quarterback.
2. Defense (sorta)
The defense allowed NDSU to convert 11-of-17 third down plays, which isn’t good. But they did hold NDSU to 24 points, which should have been enough to win. Slaughter had a very good game, and so did Dorrian Roberts had a solid game, too.
Dante Barnett had a key interception in the third quarter that led to a 21-7 KSU lead.
There were positives to work with even if there are obvious holes in the unit.
3. Wide Receivers
The big play ability of Lockett and Thompson manifested itself on their long touchdown passes. They are both weapons that could score at any time. Getting the ball in their hands more often has to be a priority of the offense moving forward.
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns are up next, September 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Whiskey. Lots and lots of whiskey.