Inconsistency foils Cats again

When does two plus two equal one? When you add two quarters of good football to two quarters of bad football. The result? One more tough loss at home.

Kansas State combined for 243 offensive yards in the first and third quarters on Saturday, putting forth an offensive output that could win many Big 12 games. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they combined for just 49 total yards in the second and fourth quarters. Inconsistency on the offensive side of the football was once again a key component in a Wildcat loss.

"We've got to learn to play a full, four-quarter game," offensive tackle Jeromey Clary said. "We're playing one-half games and getting destroyed in the other half."

The low-point for the offense was basically the entire second quarter, minus Thomas Clayton's touchdown plunge three seconds in. K-State gained just 11 yards, while being penalized for 20 and fumbling once in its own territory.

The offense was stagnant enough that Snyder considered subbing former starting quarterback Allen Webb in to the game. "We were just having trouble getting the ball where it needed to go," Snyder said. Webb began warming up on the sidelines late in the second quarter, but never stepped under center.

K-State did rush for 81 yards, their second highest total in Big 12 play. Two players not normally thought to be top rushing threats led the way for the Wildcats. Carlos Alsup, who had just 11 carries this season, and only 44 in his career, led the Wildcats with 42 rushing yards. Alsup's total was a career high.

"I was pleased with Carlos," Snyder said. "Carlos is normally a little bit of high runner, but he got his pads down, ran low, stayed on his feet, kept his balance on a number of occasions, and really did well."

Alsup entered the game in the second quarter, after starter Thomas Clayton and second-stringer Parrish Fisher had both had chances. Alsup took the field because the top two running backs "made some mistakes," Snyder said.

Alsup said he was ready for his chance to contribute. "There's always a chance," Alsup said. "Your time will come. You've got to stay focus and keep faith. Today was my opportunity, I did good things, I also did bad things. Now I've just got to live with it and move on."

Fullback Victor Mann was second on the team, with 25 rushing yards. Mann has been steadily earning more touches this season, and seems to make things happen when he gets the ball.

Snyder said the team did many things well, but weren't able to put everything together. "I thought they played with some spirit and emotion," Snyder said. "We just didn't play smart enough. That's part of the ingredients. You can't bake a cake without flour. You have to have all the ingredients."

It looked like the Wildcats be the ones with the chance to break the 20-20 tie at the end of the game, but Jermaine Moreira lost control of a punt after trying to field it off one bounce. The Buffalos kneeled to run down the clock, and then kicked the go-ahead field goal with just six seconds remaining.

Of greater concern was the fact that Moreira stayed facedown long after the play, and was removed on a stretcher. While unable to comment on Moreira's condition, Snyder said he was moving and responsive as he was being taken off the field.

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