Game Observations

A view from the Press Box. It's Gameday at K-State and before everyone just looks at the score- there are other observations to be made! Having a moment to reflect, I put down those things, Pre-game, during the action and Post-game that stood out. From players, to quotes, to new Traditions - it is all right here.

Pregame

- I did not get the opportunity to witness the "Wildcat Walk," but several players mentioned enjoying the opportunity to briefly interact with the fans before beginning the pregame preparations.

- The dedication of Bill Snyder Family Stadium may have seemed like a "replica of the end of the Missouri game last year" to the former Wildcat coach, but the pregame ceremony was well done, and well received by all in attendance. Snyder and his wife, Sharon, entered the stadium in a purple convertible, while the rest of his family followed in at Hummer limousine. After the stadium moniker was unveiled on the front of the pressbox, Snyder addressed the crowd and again showed his genuine humble nature that helped him become adored by all Wildcat fans. As if on cue, the crowd responded with a "Bill Snyder" chant as the coach exited the field.

- Those keeping tabs on the stadium renovations in the off-season had the chance to experience the upgrades on Saturday. The new video screen on the south end of the field is a sight to behold. It dwarfs its counterpart on the opposite end of the field and forced several fans to do 180-degree turns for the chance to sneak a peek.

Game action

- For any fan glancing at the stats, it is obvious that Yamon Figurs had a strong game as the return man. Witnessing his returns, his focus seemed obvious. Once he fielded the ball, there was no sense of indecision on Figurs' part. He found the seams and followed his blockers.

- The primary offensive sets featured a single running back, with two split receivers and two tight ends. Fans may have joked that they did not know K-State had a tight end in previous years (with few passes being tossed in their directions), but if this game was any indication, Rashaad Norwood may turn out to be Dylan Meier's security blanket. When the pass protection broke down (which was not uncommon) Meier was usually looking for No. 89.

- Norwood also lined up in the slot on occasion, and Jermaine Moreira took the field in three-wide situations.

- With few holes being created up front, it was tough to get a read on what the running backs can do. Starter Carlos Alsup showed the straight-line speed and power he has had for the last five years. Junior college transfer James Johnson did not have many opportunities to show off the speed that made him a star at Blinn, but did plant an ISU defender with a stiff arm on one carry. Freshman Leon Patton showed foot-speed and some jukes in the room he found to run in. Whether the carries continue to be split with the return of Thomas Clayton to the lineup could be an interesting development next Saturday.

- Illinois State quarterback Luke Drone and receiver Laurent Robinson were legitimately impressive. Drone consistently made correct reads against the Wildcat zone coverage and Robinson used every inch of his 6-2 frame to give K-State defensive backs all they could handle.

- The defense seems to be a work-in-progress, as players continue to learn the new schemes. On occasions, defenders seemed confused in their coverage responsibilities.

Post-game

- There was no feeling of relief surrounding the post-game press conference. Coach Ron Prince and several players acknowledged the improvements that will be required for the Wildcats to get where they want to be this season.

- Prince's debut may not have been storybook-worthy, but the Wildcats still came out on the right end of the final score. Thus, the sky is not falling.


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