Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

'Mixed Bag' Leads to Mixed Review of Cats

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

'Mixed Bag' Leads to Mixed Review of Cats

Article excerpt

STANFORD, Calif. -- One constant hurt Kansas State most Friday at Stanford Stadium.

"We were inconsistent consistently throughout the course of the ballgame. Put it that way,'' said Bill Snyder, who began his 25th season coaching K-State football with a long list of items to correct.

Priorities can be addressed methodically, and in full, since K- State has a bye week coming up.

That promises to be an agonizing period coming off a 26-13 loss to No. 8 Stanford.

"Some of the things will be an easy fix,'' insisted running back Charles Jones.

If so, then good. Consistency, however, has a way of being difficult to attain.

It was for the K-State offense, which scored on each of three trips into the red zone, outgained Stanford in yardage, but waited until 2:20 remained to score a touchdown while struggling on third down.

It was for the K-State defense, which corralled Heisman Trophy candidate Christian McCaffrey for all but a few carries, except two he broke for touchdowns of 35 and 41 yards. He rushed for 126 yards on 22 carries while finishing with 208 all-purpose yards.

Inconsistency even hounded K-State's special teams. In particular, kicker Matthew McCrane stunningly missed a 42-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. That snapped a school- record string of 16 straight makes.

Given the Cats were playing a top-10 opponent that ran its home win streak over nonconference guests to 16 straight, any mistakes were critical. K-State was not ready to play with the precision needed to overcome McCaffrey and friends.

"We all make mistakes and it was pretty evident mistakes got us,'' McCrane said. "Making all my kicks was my goal going into the season, so I'm going to have to go back and correct what went wrong.

"We'll have to do that as an offense. I think that's our biggest weakness - when we get the ball close to the end zone, we can't put it in the end zone.''

The fact K-State did, finally, on a 15-yard strike from quarterback Jesse Ertz to Isaiah Zuber, was comforting considering both those players were essentially new contributors.

"Having that touchdown was like getting the monkey off our back, seeing we can make a touchdown,'' Jones said. …

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