Another Marshall shocker in Manhattan

K-State was shocked at home Saturday with 45-21 loss to Fresno State, which has now defeated two major programs on the road in consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, K-State is left searching for answers, yards, points, and a defense before Big 12 play opens up.

 

If No. 13/14 Kansas State had any of its nine lives remaining prior to Saturday's nationally televised game against Fresno State, they are surely gone now. A 45-21 loss at home to an unranked opponent might do that.

Bill Snyder said not even since his first season at K-State when it went 1-10 can he remember a game in which his Wildcats were beaten up as bad as they were by the Bulldogs.

Though Fresno State led by just a touchdown after the first quarter, it was a quarter that could be used to describe the entirety of Fresno State's domination over the Wildcats.

K-State's best offense and only offense for that matter in the opening quarter was its defense. After the Wildcats' Bret Jones intercepted and returned Fresno State's Paul Pinegar's pass 42 yards for a touchdown, the Bulldogs went into keep away mode—allowing K-State just four offensive snaps in the quarter, one of which was a punt. In all, the Cats allowed 185 yards in the quarter to the Bulldogs (2-0). K-State (1-1) had two yards.

That was just one part of a performance from K-State that Snyder compared to that of what a high school football team could do.

"We got soundly beaten today," he said, "in all facets of the game, offense, defense, kicking game. If its one side of the ball or the kicking game, I can say ‘okay that's an issue over here and we'll go fix it.' But if we're getting beat everywhere, I got to look within. That's got to be Bill Snyder.

"I have to make sure Bill Snyder does a better job of preparing our football team in all segments of it. Did I see it coming? You don't necessarily see it coming with that magnitude, but do I see that we've got some holes in our armor, yeah I sure do."

The holes in the armor are wide-spread too. Offensively, K-State mustered just 59 yards on the ground and collectively went 8-of-23 passing. K-State was a dismal 2-of-13 on third down conversions.

Defensively, K-State allowed 400 yards of offense to Fresno State and struggled to finish plays, wrap up, and even defend wide-open passes.

Perhaps senior defensive tackle Jermaine Berry had the best response.

"We just need to tackle the guy with the ball," he said.

Sophomore Allen Webb started the game due to Dylan Meier's injury last week against Western Kentucky. However, Snyder said it was obvious that Meier needed to be on the field because of K-State' performance and therefore replaced Webb with 13 minutes left in the first half. Unfortunately for the Cats, Meier was banged up again just before half and did not return. Snyder wouldn't say specifically what the injury was or how bad it is; just that it is in addition to the injury he suffered last week.

"I told you before that I thought Dylan was fine and was able to go and that was questionable at the time," said Snyder, who informed Webb he was going to start just before kickoff. "There was some uncertainty as whether or not he would be able to get through the course of the game. So, the decision was to with Allen and Allen had taken a substantial amount of snaps during the week."

Webb was 4-of-13 with one touchdown and one interception for 30 yards, while Meier threw for 91 yards on 4-of-10 passing with a touchdown and interception.

Senior Darren Sproles ran for just 37 yards on 11 carries, his lowest total since his freshman season. He was not present at the post-game press conference.

"When you are three-and-out, there are only so many times he can get his hands on the ball," Snyder said. "If we sustain drives, then he'd have the ball a lot more than he did. When the score got outlandish, then you have to decide if you want to run the ball or try to throw it and catch up. We tried to go both ways and neither one was successful. We eventually said, ‘sit down Darren, we'll try it again another day.'"

 

How they scored

First Quarter

K-State—The Wildcats struck first in the opening quarter on 42-yard interception return by Brett Jones. Jones, who scored on the sixth play of the game, also intercepted another pass in the third quarter when the ball bounced off the Fresno State receiver and into Jones' hands when he was lying on the ground at the one-yard line.

Fresno State—The Bulldogs got a pair of touchdowns from Dwayne Wright in the quarter on runs of four and two yards. Wright finished with 76 yards on 27 carries to lead the Bulldogs.

Second Quarter

K-StateThe only bright spot in the K-State passing game came on a 47-yard strike from Meier to Davin Dennis at the 12:17 mark of the quarter.

Fresno StateBrett Visintainer added a 45-yard field goal, while Pinegar ran in a touchdown from two yards out. Matt Rivera had a 10-yard touchdown reception from Pinegar as well. The Bulldogs led 31-14 at the end of the quarter.

Third Quarter

K-StateThe Wildcats didn't score in the quarter.

Fresno State—Rivera caught his second touchdown pass of the day from Pinegar, this time from 29 yards out.

Fourth Quarter

K-State—Receiver Tony Madison recovered tight end Brian Casey's fumble in the endzone to score late with just a  minute left in the game.

Fresno State—Bryson Sumlin scored on a 4-yard run inside the five-minute mark of the quarter.


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