Three games, three losses. Each of them came by single digits, and in each of them Kansas State squandered crucial opportunities to score. The Wildcats converted just 11-of-18 chances inside the opponents 20 yard line in losses to Marshall, Texas and Oklahoma State.
But Kansas State and Coach Bill Snyder have a knack for finding a weakness in their systems, and the problems with scoring near the goalline have been rectified. On the Wildcats' last 13 trips inside the 20, Kansas State has walked away with points each times — and not just points, but touchdowns. Against Kansas last weekend, the Wildcats scored on Roberson three- and one-yard touchdown runs, a Davin Dennis 20-yard reception, a Darren Sproles seven-yard run and a Victor Mann touchdown plunge.
"I'm pleased we're making headway," Snyder said. "If you put your energy and efforts into achieving a specific thing, you have the chance to be successful at it. The focus has been there and we've been forunate it happens. We have done better in that respect."
Part of that has been Roberson's sharpness in the passing game. He hasn't thrown an interception since the Oklahoma State game and has thrown nine touchdown passes in the last three games. A lot also has to do with shorter passes, curl and out routes that fall underneath the coverage. These higher-percentage pass routes brought more first downs, more ball movement and a better touchdown-to-turnover ratio in the red zone.
"Kansas State, offensively, has always been good in the red zone," offensive coordinator Greg Peterson said. "It's always been an emphasis point for us, getting consistent production. That was a focal point for us. We know we can get three up, but let's get seven."
That's exactly what Kansas State has been doing for the last two games, generating two blowout wins that are beginning to remind fans of the 2002 version of Wildcat football.
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