Live Blog: K-State 21, UMass 17

Final
Just got back from the interview room, and Kansas State players and coaches agree they could have done much better.

They were all happy to escape with the 21-17 victory, but to only score points in the second quarter was disappointing. And to struggle to even move the ball in the second half was tough for them to handle.

Lots of improvements need to be made. Mostly in the passing game and punting game.

But one things for sure: K-State can run the ball. Junior running back Daniel Thomas debuted with 104 yards and Keithen Valentine picked up 89.

Check back later for a postgame blog. And read the Eagle/Star for complete coverage.

6:44 4th Quarter
That’s a three and out for K-State. After a punt, UMass has the ball back on its own 23.

8:00 4th Quarter
The K-State defense held, and Carson Coffman is back under center at his own 30-yard line.

10:29 4th Quarter
Gregory showed off his legs with two nice runs, but the Wildcats still had to punt near midfield.

UMass will take over at its own 20 with the chance to take the lead.

13:12 4th Quarter
Coffman is shaken up and off the field. Here comes Grant Gregory.

14:01 4th Quarter
UMass just blocked a Kansas State punt and returned it for a touchdown.

The Minutemen aren’t doing much to stay in this game, but the Wildcats are certainly helping them hang in there.

0:29 3rd Quarter
The Minutemen needed something good to happen to do anything in the third quarter, and Kansas State helped them out with a fumbled punt.

After absolutely shutting down UMass throughout the second half, the Wildcats couldn’t hang on to a punt deep in their own territory and UMass took over in the red zone.

Andrew Krevis then caught a four-yard touchdown shortly after, and the Minutemen pulled to within 21-10.

It will be interesting to see how K-State responds on offense. The Wildcats haven’t moved the ball well in the second half, but now that the score is close again they might turn up the intensity.

4:44 3rd Quarter
It’s been a pretty boring third quarter so far.

Neither team has been able to sustain anything, but I’m sure the Wildcats are OK with that. Up by 18, they can play even with UMass the rest of way.

It’s worth pointing out that Carson Coffman has taken every snap under center. Grant Gregory isn’t even warming up. Bill Snyder is showing a lot of confidence him despite those two early turnovers.

Halftime
It took a while for the Kansas State football team to get going in front of 50,750 fans at Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday. But once the Wildcats moved past the initial excitement and nervousness that came with welcoming coach Bill Snyder back to the sidelines, they took control of the game.

With 30 minutes of football remaining, K-State leads Massachusetts 21-3.

Early on, the Wildcats found it difficult to move the ball on offense and turned the ball over twice in the opening 10 minutes. Both turnovers occurred when UMass defenders hit junior quarterback Carson Coffman in the backfield. The Minutemen walked away with a fumble recovery and an interception.

But UMass only turned those opportunities into three points and experienced little success in other areas.

Coffman took every snap in the first half, and behind a potent rushing attack that gained 143 yards in the first half managed — junior running back Daniel Thomas led the way by picking up 87 yards on 15 carries –to lead the Wildcats on three scoring drives.

Coffman scored the first touchdown early in the second quarter on a one-yard run. That gave K-State a 7-3 lead. The Wildcats went ahead 14-3 with 5:34 remaining in the half when Coffman hit Attrail Snipes for a 40-yard touchdown.

After stopping the Minutemen on their final drive of the first half, the Wildcats quickly moved the ball 40 yards and went ahead 21-3 on another Snipes touchdown with just three seconds left on the scoreboard.

Wichita native Tysyn Hartman grabbed two interceptions in the first half.

Kansas State will receive the opening kickoff of the second half.

4:30 2nd Quarter
Jeffrey Fitzgerald just landed a big nine-yard sack and UMass is facing a third and 16.

The Minutemen are starting to look outmatched.

5:34 2nd Quarter
Kansas State proved it could score with its running game earlier in the quarter, now the Wildcats are looking good with their passing game, too.

Carson Coffman just hit Attrail Snipes on a nifty slant route that he took to the house for a touchdown.

K-State now leads 14-3.

8:27 2nd Quarter
It looked like UMass was going to take the lead on a beautiful touchdown catch by Victor Cruz, but a penalty wiped the play off the board and pushed the Minutemen out of scoring range.

They lined up for a 43-yard field goal but had it blocked.

K-State takes over at its own 26.

12:10 2nd Quarter
Wichita native Tysyn Hartman already has two interceptions.

That would put him atop the national list in terms of interceptions at the moment. Can he keep up his one per quarter pace?

14:20 2nd Quarter
They tried running a quarterback sweep to the left and didn’t score. So then they tried the same play to the right and punched it in.

Carson Coffman just scored Kansas State’s first touchdown of the season, and the Wildcats lead 7-3.

That was a 76-yard scoring drive for Kansas State. It got in the end zone on eight plays, running the ball eight times.

End First Quarter
Kansas State has given up on throwing the ball. The strategy seems to be working. On six straight runs, the Wildcats have moved the ball 74 yards and are facing a first-and-goal at the three.

Daniel Thomas looks as good as hyped. Keithen Valentine looking solid too.

3:22 1st Quarter
And UMass strikes first. After grabbing an interception in K-State territory, the Minutemen picked up on first down and then kicked a 35-yard field goal.

So far neither team has looked sharp. But K-State is running the ball well. Daniel Thomas already has 46 yards on seven carries.

4:11 1st Quarter
Lots of sloppy football being played right now. We’ve had three turnovers in the opening 10 minutes and UMass is having a false start every other play.

Still, UMass is in scoring position. The Minutemen just called timeout facing a 2nd and 18 from the Wildcats’ 20-yard line.

6:30 1st Quarter
And there’s another turnover. Carson Coffman is hit as he throws and Tyler Holmes grabs an easy interception.

UMass is now in scoring range at the K-State 23-yard line.

7:50 1st Quarter
Lots going on in the last minute. UMass hit Carson Coffman while he was trying to throw and picked up a fumble near midfield. Then Tysyn Hartman picked off a long pass to give K-State the ball back on the next play.

Kansas State is now deep in its own territory.

K-State 0, UMass 0 10:34 1st Quarter
Ah, the running into the kicker penalty shows up. After going three-and-out UMass gives K-State a first down with a penalty on a punt attempt.

K-State 0, UMass 0 11:36 1st Quarter
UMass moved the ball 35 yards on its opening possession and looked good doing so. But the Minutemen couldn’t convert on a third and two near midfield and punted.

K-State strangely accepted a fair catch at the eight-yard line. So this will be the Wildcat’s first drive. Ninety-two yards to go.

Coin toss
UMass has won the coin toss and will receive on the opening kickoff.

Just before kickoff
Both teams have met at midfield and exchanged handshakes. Good natured sportsmanship all around.

15 minutes till kickoff
Doesn’t look like many UMass made the trip for this one. I see about 15 fans in red shirts.

20 minutes till kickoff
Bad news here: Kadero Terrell is indeed injured. Just when it looked like he was going to get his big shot at playing time, he’s stuck on the sideline.

25 minutes till kickoff
Met a few of the former players who are back for today’s family reunion celebration.

They were all really excited about this game, especially because of the jerseys they received for coming back. We’re talking topnotch clothing here. Stitched on names and everything.

It’s 40 minutes till kickoff, and the stands are starting to fill up.

Lots of people still out in the parking lots enjoying pregame, but it looks like the place is going to sell out. LOTS of people here.

Kansas State football players just came out onto the field. They entered in traditional Bill Snyder style, hopping two-by-two to midfield then separating to create a X. Kinda looks like a marching band.