This weekend, the Kansas State Wildcats head to the Palace on the Prairie with hopes of an upset. Drawing inspiration from the service academies according to Kansas.com, Bill Snyder must look to control the clock in an effort to slow down an offensive juggernaut. In their last outing, the tactic worked as KSU held the ball for nearly 38 minutes. Limiting the offensive possessions of their opponent, the program pulled out an unlikely 31-12 victory in front of a home crowd two weeks ago. However, sustaining long scoring drives remains a difficult feat in today’s game.
Regardless of how difficult the task is it remains at the forefront of the conversation. At this point in time, the Wildcats average 23.3 points per contest which ranks at the bottom of the Big 12 Conference. In an equally disappointing statement, K-State manages to gain 356.3 yards of offense against each foe yet the number ranks ninth in conference. Facing a prolific Oklahoma Sooner offense, it’s clear the best defense is to keep the ball in the hands of Skylar Thompson.
Getting much needed help in the effort to control the clock, Alex Barnes burst onto the scene with two consecutive games of 175+ rushing yards. Becoming the strong suit of the offense, Barnes recent success put him at the top of the conference in rushing yards at 788 total. Averaging 5.71 yards per carry goes a long way in securing long sustained drives that milk the clock.
However, if the safeties bite on play action, Thompson can find a bit of success in moving the ball through the air on a consistent basis.
It’s no secret that cornerback Parnell Motley has been targeted as a potential weakpoint this season. Running bigger receivers at the defensive back has paid dividends for offenses regardless of venue. Add to the struggles the other players missed tackles and it’s a recipe for disaster. With Ruffin McNeill at the helm, the goal is to simply the schematics while putting players in a position to succeed, change for the better has been witnessed. The only question is: can the defense sustain the success and build upon it?
Only time will tell…