Wildcat Offense Grounded

Wide receiver Daniel Gonzalez had a 38-yard rush on a fake punt late in the first quarter. The play came on a fourth down-and-three on the K-State nine-yard line and gave the Wildcats a little momentum after getting down 7-0 early in Saturday's game against the No. 21-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The Wildcats lost to the Cornhuskers 21-3, and they finished the game with only 22 total yards rushing.

Take away Gonzalez's first career rush of 38 yards, and the Wildcats (4-3 overall, 1-2 Big 12 Conference) would have finished the game with -16 yards rushing.

"Our running game was ineffective tonight," coach Ron Prince said. "We knew we were going to have to execute very well on the ground, but we couldn't get anything going. That's pretty much the story of the game."

Freshman running back Leon Patton started his second consecutive game for the Wildcats, and he was not the same player that compiled 301 yards of total offense last week against Oklahoma State.

Patton finished the game with only 13 yards rushing on 12 attempts. He also had two receptions for 16 yards, but he dropped three passes. His inability to produce anything positive on the ground led to Prince taking him out of the game and replacing him with junior James Johnson and former starter senior Thomas Clayton.

Johnson did not record a statistic in the game, and Clayton had only one reception for -3 yards.

Patton was put back in the game early in the fourth quarter, which was important because he had -7 yards rushing in the first three quarters, and he said he wanted to try to get some of those yards back. He broke a 19-yard run on a draw play on the Wildcat's first possession of the quarter, and that brought his total yards rushing back on the positive side for the game.

"Nebraska has a good run defense," said senior offensive lineman Greg Wafford. "We weren't able to execute up front and we couldn't make anything happen."

Another reason why the rushing stats were so low was because freshman quarterback Josh Freeman was sacked four times for a loss of 35 yards, which counts against the rushing yards for the team.

Due to the inability to run the ball and with Nebraska scoring 14 points early, the Wildcats had to take to the air sooner than they would have liked.

Freeman was 23-of-47 for 272 yards, which broke the true freshman record for most yards thrown in a game. He also threw two interceptions in the game.

"They have a great front seven that just out-executed us tonight," Freeman said. "They are known for stopping the run, and that is exactly what they did against us. I have to hand it to Nebraska, they played a great game."


Purple Pride Top Stories