RAPID RECAP: Offense no shows in 17-10 loss to Tulane

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Kansas State fell to Tulane 17-10 on Saturday to fall to 2-1 on the season, with Tulane’s upset big coming to fruition after a touchdown pass to Tyrick James with 4:27 left in the fourth quarter.

A key decision by Tulane head coach Willie Fritz to go for the first down on fourth and one from his own 24-yard line, paid off after quarterback Michael Pratt was pushed over the line to gain.

The failure of the Wildcats’ offense to convert on third and fourth down for most of the game routinely allowed the Green Wave to take over possession with quality field position, including on the Green Wave’s game-winning touchdown drive.

First-year offensive coordinator Collin Klein experienced a really, tough day. Klein’s decision to call a shovel pass on third and nine with less than three minutes left in the game led to Kansas State had to punt the football to Tulane, which landed inside the Kansas State 20-yard line.

SPUTTERING OFFENSE

In the first two games, the Kansas State offense found success running the football. But against Tulane, Kansas State’s offense struggled to gain any sort of serious momentum throughout most of the game.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez looked hesitant to throw the football downfield or over the middle of the field for much of the game, and it led to repeated check down passes to running backs and tight ends when there were open wide receivers on multiple plays.

First-year offensive coordinator Collin Klein certainly struggled with play calls on several plays throughout the game. At the end of the first half with less than 10 seconds to play, Klein called a shovel pass from the seven-yard line, which forced Kansas State to use their final timeout of the half, and later settle for a field goal to enter halftime with a 10-7 lead.

But Klein — and the Kansas State offense — struggled supremely on third and fourth down for most of the game. The Wildcat offense went a combined 3-for-20 on third and fourth down on Saturday. Many of the plays the Kansas State offense ran on third and fourth down were long, developing runs with a tailback — Deuce Vaughn or DJ Giddens — starting five-plus yards behind the line of scrimmage.

DEFENSIVE DEMOLITION CONTINUES

K-State’s defense allowed just one touchdown in the first two weeks of the season, and they pitched a shutout against South Dakota in the season-opener. Defensive coordinator Joe Klanderman’s crew continued their strong play vs. Tulane.

Kansas State allowed Tulane to gain just 336 total yards in the game, and limited Tulane to just 160 total rushing yards on the afternoon.

But the Wildcat defense wasn’t able to keep Tulane out of the end zone late in the game, which allowed the Green Wave to score a game-winning touchdown with less than three minutes left. The Wildcat defense also failed to hold on a fourth and one from the Tulane 24, which effectively sealed the game.

DANIEL GREEN’S STRONG PERFORMANCE

Linebacker Daniel Green had a strong day for the Kansas State defense. After hauling in an interception last week in the victory against Mizzou, Green had another interception against Tulane on Saturday that he returned 49 yards deep into Tulane territory. His interception helped set up Chris Tennant’s field goal before halftime.

Green also had a hand in Kobe Savage’s interception in the second half. Green was able to break through the line of scrimmage and alter Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt’s mechanics.

KOBE SAVAGE’S MAMBA MENTALITY

Junior college transfer Kobe Savage is named after NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and his play through the first three weeks of the season is reminiscent of Bryant’s famous ‘Mamba Mentality.’

In addition to Savage’s interception, he led the Kansas State defense for much of the defense. The first-year Kansas State safety ended the day with seven tackles, and he continues to impress in pass coverage as well.

NEXT UP 

Kansas State opens Big 12 play next week against a top-10 opponent on the road at Oklahoma, who dominated Nebraska on the road to move to 3-0 under first-year head coach Brent Venables.



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