"We got our fannies waxed," coach Bill Snyder said. "We didn't pass protect well. We didn't throw the ball well. We didn't catch the ball well. We didn't run it well. We didn't block for the run very well - it doesn't leave you very much."
The largest issue for the Wildcats, at least in the first half, was a general inability to communicate. With the Sooner crowd noisier than anything the Wildcats had yet experienced, quarterback Allen Webb struggled communicating with the rest of his offense whenever he attempted calling an audible in the first half.
The result? A number of delay of game penalties and three timeouts burnt midway through the third quarter. Snyder said the crowd noise was no excuse for the Wildcats mistakes. "We don't have an excuse," Snyder said.
"We weren't executing at all," Webb said. "It was very loud. It was very hard to audible. We burnt up our three timeouts so fast - it just wasn't a very good first half.
Special teams again proved to be an issue for the Wildcats, with the punt team struggling regularly. The Cats punted five times at a lowly 29.6 yards per punt clip, but most distressing punt-team play didn't involve the punter at all.
Seriously. The punter was not even on the field. With a fourth and long from their own 12, K-State lined up to punt, but the team was missing a key player - the punter. With the Sooner crowd roaring, confusion reigned on the Wildcats side of the ball. The ball was snapped to no one in particular, and out the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety.
When asked what exactly happened on that play, Snyder just said that the punter was on the sidelines. "There's a little responsibility that goes along with that position (punter)," Snyder said. "Whether it's (Tim Reyer) or whether it's someone else." Snyder said the team has guards against the ball being snapped in that situation, "but we put our guard down."
Along with the aforementioned delay of game penalties, the Wildcats were also flagged for a number of holding and false start penalties. At the half, the Wildcats had been flagged eight times for 60 yards. Meanwhile, the offense had gained just 41.
The Wildcats' offensive numbers were not pretty, and thus, they accurately portrayed the Wildcat offense. The highly anticipated roar of a dual-feature-back situation resulted in nothing more than a gentle purr. Clayton and Fisher combined for 24 rushing yards off 16 carries.
"We couldn't run it a lick," Snyder said. Snyder credited the OU defense for doing a stellar job against the run; bud added that the Wildcats also shot themselves in the foot in the running game.
"In ways, they kind of dictate what the offense is running," runningback Thomas Clayton said. "You've got to block that blitz."
The passing game also faltered. Although Webb passed for 177 yards and two touchdowns, he also tossed one critical interception and was sacked five times. The passing game struggles seemed to be the result of a combination of struggles by the offensive line and Webb struggling with his accuracy.
When asked if he could assess Webb's play, Snyder said "Not very well, no."
It wasn't all-bad for K-State. The defense played strongly, despite the 43 points Oklahoma posted. Snyder said that many of those points could be attributed to various errors and turnovers the Wildcats made, resulting the outstanding field position for the Sooners.
Linebacker Zach Diles said the defense was never frustrated with the field position they were given to go up against. "As a defense you have got to love that opportunity to come out there when your back is up against the wall and try to stop them from getting into the end zone.
"The score doesn't say so, but our defense did well," Diles said.
Where does the team go from here? There are obviously improvements to be made, but the Wildcats seem confident they can correct their mistakes. "We'll correct everything," Clayton said. "We have some things to watch on film, but I'm sure we'll correct them by next Saturday's ballgame."
One week is all that stands between the Wildcats and Jayhawks battling again in the Sunflower Showdown. What is the number one thing the Wildcats need to focus on in practice to get back on track? Well, focus, according to Webb. "Don't take anything for granted. Cherish each day. Take the opportunity to get better, and learn this stuff, and then demonstrate what we learned on the field on Saturday.
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