The Kansas State Wildcats fell to the Mississippi State Bulldogs 31-10 on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Here are some thoughts, awards and grades from the game.
Player of the game
Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill rushed for 211 yards and two touchdowns ... On 17 carries. K-State’s defense had no answers for him.
Play of the game
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The game was all but over when Erroll Thompson intercepted a pass from Alex Delton and Hill scored on a 28-yard touchdown run three plays later. That gave the Bulldogs a 17-3 lead late in the second quarter. They already had all the points they would need.
Stat of the game
3.8 As in yards per play from K-State. Hard to win a football game when you can’t move the football and your opponent (8.2 yards per play) does so with ease.
Quote to note
“We’re just a little soft right now.” — Bill Snyder.
Offense: F. Soft. Pitiful. Embarrassing. Those are some of the words K-State coach Bill Snyder and players used to describe the Wildcats’ offensive showing against Mississippi State. It was certainly an ugly day from Andre Coleman’s unit, which managed just 213 yards. There weren’t many highlights. Alex Barnes rushed for 75 yards and Skylar Thompson had a nice touchdown pass to Dalton Schoen. That’s about it. The biggest problems occurred up front, where K-State’s offensive line appeared completely overmatched and surrendered four sacks. Something has got to change. The Wildcats have played two games and scored two touchdowns on offense.
Defense: D. Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and Hill carved up K-State’s defense for 538 yards with a simple game plan that featured mostly QB keepers, handoffs and short passes. The Wildcats were a step slow at linebacker, where DaQuan Patton (4), Sam Sizelove (3) and Elijah Sullivan (2) combined for nine tackles. There were some positives, though. The secondary looked improved from Week 1. And defensive end Wyatt Hubert played a good game that included an interception.
Special Teams: C. Blake Lynch connected on a 26-yard field goal but missed one from 52. K-State’s punters pinned Mississippi State within its 20 three times. And the return game was fine. But special teams had very little impact on this game.
Coaching: F. This is a hard area to grade, because, if we’re being honest, Mississippi State won this game the second it stepped on the field. The Bulldogs looked bigger, stronger and faster at just about every position. The talent gap was obvious. It would have taken some incredible Xs and Os for K-State to keep up with Mississippi State’s Jimmys and Joes. But recruiting is part of coaching, and the Bulldogs had a big talent advantage.
K-State will play host to the Texas-San Antonio Road Runners at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium. UTSA is off to a slow start. It lost its opening game 49-7 at Arizona State and followed that up with a 37-20 defeat against Baylor.
Still, coach Frank Wilson sees progress.
“I thought our team took a step in the right direction,” Wilson said after the Baylor game. “Vastly improved from a week ago.”
K-State won its last game against UTSA 30-3 in 2015. The Road Runners have switched coaches since then, from Larry Coker to Wilson. Wilson won six games in each of his first two seasons in San Antonio. He will face an uphill climb to reach that number in Year 3.
The Wildcats will be favored to win this game. This might be their easiest matchup of the season. It will give their offense a good opportunity to bounce back from two forgettable outings. The Road Runners are allowing nearly 500 yards per game.