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Stopping The Beast: Looking At The Kansas State Offense

Collin Klein hasn't been stopped yet? Are we the ones to do it? Probably not, but we'll try anyway.

Jamie Squire

Well here we are, trying to defend our Big 12 championship, and starring into the abyss that is Kansas State this year. They take you, force you to play their game, then beat you 55-24 and send you home with a nice fruit basket (I don't know if they actually do that, but it seems like a Billy Snyder thing to do). Whetsell already dominated the defensive preview, so we're going to look at the KSU-O.

As I'm sure you're all aware, the Wildcat offense is run by a behemoth who goes by the name Collin Klein (a man who's last name laughs at conventional spelling). Let's look at some stats, and then collectively shit our pants:

Rushes Yards Pass Attempts Completions Yards Rushing Touchdowns Passing Touchdowns Interceptions
122 688 165 117 1630 16 12 2

Nervous? Yeah, probably should be. Traditionally dual threat quarterbacks not named Robert Griffin III give our Cowboys hell (if ISU cost Weeden the Heisman, the game against us should have cost RG3 his career, stupid fucker). So, out of all the teams the Wildcats have played, who has had the best success stopping Klein the Wildcat offense?

Only Iowa State and Oklahoma have kept the Wildcats under 30 points, so how did they do it? Oklahoma limited Klein to only 149 yards passing, while Iowa State held him to 180 yards passing. Now, sadly, they both gave up around 200 yards rushing (219 and 200, respectively) but I think we've found the key.

The 'Cats are going to get their rushing yards, it's just going to happen. Accept it, lets move on from it. Between Klein and John Hubert (128 rushes for 752 yards and 10 TD's), they're getting over 200 yards rushing a game (though still behind us, and Joe Randle bitches). All we can do there is ride the monster, and try and slow them down.

Where we have to make our hay, so to speak (or, alternatively, chop our wood), is against the pass. Great news I know, and I can already hear you "King you ignorant fuck we've sucked monkey balls at doing that so far this year, we're fucked you stupid stupid bastard". Well first off, fuck you. Second off, over the last 3 games we've held the opposing team under 250 yards passing. Not to say those teams had offenses on par with the one we'll see Saturday, but I'm saying we've been doing better.

When it comes to passing, Klein spreads it around to about five receivers, and while none are spectacular, together they've gone for 1640 yards and 9 TD's (with junior Tramaine Thompson leading the way with four). The top 5 average around 300 yards a game (total), with the top 4 being responsible for 85% of the passing yards so far.

For us to win, we need to hold Kansas State under 35 points; absolutely have to, we may not be able to score 30 anyway, but scoring 40 is going to be nearly impossible. They Wildcat offensive line has played very well so far this year, but they are relatively young (two juniors, a sophomore, and two freshman), so there's that. If we can use our front four to stuff the run (unlikely), keep a linebacker as a spy who can slow Klein (very unlikely), and use man coverage to slow down the pass (impossible), then we can stuff the KSU offense, get off the field on 3rd down, and go on to win big (we've gone plaid).

I don't know if this made you feel better or worse, but looking at statistics they're not world beaters on offense. What they are is a smart, disciplined, unit that won't give you anything, won't make mistakes, and well play to your weaknesses. If you let them get a busted coverage, expect to give up a touchdown. What is the biggest thing we have in our favor? It's really hard to go a season undefeated. So there's that. Fuck the Wildcats anyway,

Go Pokes