Iowa State destroyed Kansas State football 45-0. What can the Wildcats do to reverse their fortunes?
When a team loses how Kansas State football did this past weekend, there is nothing good to be taken from the game. It was ugly in a way Kansas State hasn’t seen since before Bill Snyder arrived in Manhattan. The Cyclones defeated the Wildcats 45-0, going over, around, and through the Wildcats defense while completely stoning and stopping anything the Wildcats offense thought would work.
A loss like this has been building as playtime elsewhere has hidden flaws within the Wildcats football team, and with nothing to cover the issues, Saturday happened in a very ugly fashion. What happened and what can Chris Klieman and the rest of the Wildcats do to fix the issue? In reality, the Cats could look across the field at what Iowa State was doing as a blueprint to fix what ails their football team.
1. On offense, the Cats must keep it simple and do what works.
Due to a season-ending injury to Skylar Thompson, the Wildcats are going into games now with true freshman Will Howard at quarterback. And while he has certainly had his moments, especially at home, the need for development has shown. Considering that running back Deuce Vaughn‘s tricks appear to have been figured out, the Wildcat offense seems to have become completely stuck in the mud.
The Wildcats need to basically abandon the shotgun, read formation they had been running a lot during the early part of the season and still primarily use. Get the freshman quarterback under center with the fullback and running back behind him, and work to get the passing game into rhythm.
Iowa State ran a significant number of snaps, especially early downs in a classic I Formation alignment. The Breece Hall 33-yard touchdown run wasn’t anything more complicated than an off-tackle run to the left. Many pass plays were not overly complicated, just simple pass concepts that have been run at the college level for decades.
Without an offseason program and no true non-conference type schedule for the Cats to prepare, Howard’s limitations are becoming quite evident. The freshman cannot, at this moment, consistently receive the shotgun snap, read the defense and then deliver, with confidence, a downfield pass. The offense often falls flat when the play calling is asking this.
Howard can currently pass well in rhythm and can pass well on the run. Rollouts, slants, play-action type passes is what works for him. Quick and simple, west coast type play calling, simplifying what is being asked of Howard will do wonders.