Category Archives: GAMEDAY

GAMEDAY… Nebraska

Just saw Ron Prince talking to Sam Keller. Can only imagine what those two were chatting about.

Anyway, we’re here in Lincoln, as I’m sure many of you are as well. I have no idea how this game will play out, and if I did, I’d probably wager a considerable amount of money on the outcome. But, obviously, I don’t, so I’m not.

As for last night, K-State men’s basketball is officially the must-see event of the winter. Shame on you if you haven’t used your tickets yet, and shame on you if fail to recognize how terrific Michael Beasley is. Yes, he’s supposed to be good? But 32 and 24 good? In his first college game? Because it’s early and we’re into stating the obvious today, he’s special.

But what about the guards? Thought to be a weakness, if Blake Young, Jacob Pullen, Fred Brown and, when he’s finally healthy, Clent Stewart can hit open shots – which Young admitted Beasley’s presence would likely yield all season – the Wildcats will be lethal. Imagine surrounding Beasley and Bill Walker in the frontcourt with Young, Pullen and Stewart? Or, as your probable starting five when Big 12 play rolls around, Beasley, Walker and Hoskins in the frontcourt joined by Young and Pullen or Stewart? That’s kind of nice.

Holler at me with your thoughts. On football. On basketball. On life. I’m in a philosophical mood, ready to dispense advice. Fire when ready…


I’m going to give it to you live today, my friends. Or at least I’m going to try. Not hamstrung by a late start time, so we’ll do what we can do. As usual, let’s keep the conversations going in the comments, and Levi will try to address as much of those as possible.

Keep checking throughout the day for updates.

Awful starts for both teams. Baylor seems content to try to run at K-State, which just isn’t going to work. Brandon Whitaker isn’t hitting the hole hard enough. As for the Cats, they looked awfully out of sync early, which is alarming because they’ve been so proficient on opening (scripted) drives. But special teams is going to be a significant factor, and the Bears are dreadful in that area. Dreadful.

7:14 – KSU, 7-0
Freeman leans in from the 1 and gives the Wildcats the first score of the game and the lead. The offense seemed more in tune that drive. Inside the 10, K-State went to the option – take note, Chris Harper – and Freeman kept the ball, earning a couple of yards. A couple of thoughts – Baylor’s defense is solid, but a pass interference call on Alton Widemon, who was covering Jordy Nelson step for step, didn’t help. But the real issue for the Bears is going to be the offense. Yikes, it’s suspect. Things could change, but I can’t see BU mounting any serious charges on that side of the ball. Again, plenty of time left in the game, but…

5:31 – KSU, 10-0
OK, Courtney Herndon strips Mike Machen and Ian Campbell recovers. But the Wildcats can’t punch it in from deep inside BU territory. On third down and 4, Freeman misses his target and it looked like he could have run into the end zone. Prince rips into Freeman on the sideline. Earlier, LaMark Brown left the field and was escorted into the hydrotherapy center of the football complex, dangling his left arm. Rossman connected on a 34-yard field goal.

Disaster for the Bears. Moving deep into KSU territory, Machen throws a pick to Bryan Baldwin, who was at least the third Wildcat in coverage in the end zone. Someone from the BU contingent in the press box says, “That’s awful.” It was – the Bears walk away with nothing when a score would have changed the complexion of the game.

Bad toss by Freeman snaps his no turnover-streak when Antareis Bryan picks one off. It’s time for some Weed – John David Weed, that is, the backup BU quarterback. He comes in and moves the Bears a little, but – go figure – Baylor misses a 36-yard field goal. Some poor football being exhibited today.

I feel so bad for Baylor’s defense. This unit is a solid, salty group, flummoxing Freeman and the Cats for the most part all day. But that offense is a hot mess. Blessed with decent starting position after Cedric Wilson produced one of K-State’s best tackles all season – although it was a 15-yard personal foul because it was after the BU punt returner called for a fair catch. Machen was back in, but while he was scrambling, he was hit and fumbled. K-State recovered. Points should be coming shortly.

10:42 – KSU, 13-0
Rossman boots a 34-yarder. We see the option again, which doesn’t work so well because, well, Freeman isn’t the quickest or fastest guy in the world. Jordy Nelson is frustrated, but we’re guessing the People’s Champ will still get the ball another six times this afternoon. Not a crisp performance by the Wildcats, by any means, but as Ron Prince will undoubtedly say after the game, he’ll never begrudge a win – which is where this one is headed, in the win column for the Cats.

Rossman missed another one, this one from 33 yards. More sloppy play. I’m sure you’re all wishing you were here. Few seconds later, Cline leaps into the air to snare an errant toss from Machen for an interception.

4:15 – KSU, 16-0
Rossman makes it from 33 yards this time. Freeman hits Nelson at the goal line on 3rd down, but Jordan Lake jars the ball loose on the way to the ground. Nice play by the BU safety.

2:34 – KSU, 16-6
The Machen experiment appears over. Blake Szymanski, the opening day starter, is now, and he might be giving the Bears a lift. He completes his first two passes, which is plenty impressive offense on a day like this. He steps into a pass, hits Thomas White in stride, who makes a Wildcat miss and then he sprints the rest of the way for the score, a 52-yard touchdown. Again, go figure – Baylor misses the extra point. Think they’ll stick with Blake?

Ugly. That’s the best I’ve got. But K-State is on alert. The Wildcats need to play better in the second half. Not saying BU has enough to make this interesting, but you never know.

THIRD QUARTER – 13:00, KSU, 23-6
Baylor couldn’t do anything on its possession, but then K-State decided to get Deon Murphy involved. He returns a punt 55 yards and then Freeman pump-faked on a pass, the Baylor corner bit, and Murphy raced past him for 22-yard touchdown catch. He was wide open. I mean, the corner gave him at least an eight-yard cushion to start, and then he bit on the fake and was still beaten by Murphy.

5:44 – KSU, 30-6
Two key plays that Wyatt and Stan can’t do justice to – Jordy Nelson’s one-handed corral on 3rd and 5 was ridiculous. The run after the catch was expected, but Freeman’s throw was low. Nelson reached back, while running full speed, and controlled the toss. Great play, but not to be undone a few minutes later when Freeman stepped up in the pocket and delivered a 40-yard strike to the end zone to Daniel Gonzalez. Folks, that was a NFL throw. He dropped the ball – on a rope – in the only open space there was, which was into Gonzo’s outstretched hands.

5:14 – KSU, 37-6
Freeman to Nelson – how many times have we said that? – from six yards out. As Levi points out, the BU corner just sat there, almost mesmerized by what was happening. Don’t be surprised if K-State keeps throwing, and especially to Nelson, who the program is promoting for postseason accolades. Nelson has five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Freeman has now thrown for 214 yards and three touchdowns — all in the third quarter. Pretty good stuff, especially after a lackluster first half.

That’s all for now, folks. K-State rolls to its fifth victory. Check in tomorrow for my Sunday morning thoughts.

GAMEDAY… Oklahoma State

So, it’s true – Kansas State stopped by East High on its way to Oklahoma State, which is odd for a number of reasons. First, the Wildcats usually fly to destinations such as Stillwater, but K-State sports information director Kenny Lannou said the team will also bus to Ames in a couple of weeks.

According to Lannou, the K-State contingent left Manhattan in four buses Friday morning at 10 a.m. The Wildcats participated in a walkthrough at East, which is usually done in Manhattan.

“It’s not a bad ride,” Lannou said.

Now, reading between the lines, especially since this isn’t the normal or standard procedure with this program, we’d guess this was an obvious attempt to recruit Arthur and Bryce Brown.

Which would have been fine if either were there.

Arthur and his mentor, Brian Butler, left Friday morning for Baton Rouge; this is Arthur’s official visit to LSU. The Tigers are playing Auburn tonight. As for Bryce, the junior running back simply had something else to do, something already scheduled.

OK, just thought I’d throw that out there. I’m going to take some pictures soon and I’ll post them at some point during the game. Won’t be able to do a standard on-going update, but Levi and I will be checking from time to time.


I’m taking photos now. Kind of a big deal.

Anyway, I have one left over from San Jose State – I think – when Wally Judge was visiting:

Got to the Stadium a little early, thanks to Bob Lutz – don’t ask. I dunno, call me crazy – and trust me, I’ve been called worse – but I dig burnt orange. It’s a little more versatile than some of the other colors you find within the Big 12. Really looks good on chicks, too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Anyway, here’s more of my artwork:

Love the sightlines at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium…

Have to love Bevo, which got me thinking. Why doesn’t K-State have an actual Wildcat? Hey, a guy can only take so much of Willie. Levi informed me that K-State did, in fact, have a live a real wildcat named “Touchdown” as early as 1922. But this takes the cake – the mascot then turned into a black Labrador named “Boscoe” that appeared at baseball and football games.

OK, a couple of things:

1. Levi found that information here.
2. Boscoe? What is that? Seriously?
3. Trap a wildcat. Please. Have Tim Weiser, who just happens to be a outsdoorsman, handle it. That’s what great athletic directors do…

One more picture…

That JumboTron or whatever the locals call it here is a monstrosity. Good Lord, it’s big.

GAMEDAY – Missouri State

In street clothes for K-State: Ray Cheatham, Josh Moore, Bryan Baldwin, Kevin Hollis and some others. There has been a Rashaad Norwood sighting, and no, he’s not hiding under a bed.

Some pre-game predictions from the media covering the game:

Howard Richman, K.C. Star, says 37-13, KSU.
Tim Bisel, Topeka Capital-Journal, checked in with 35-21, KSU.
D. Scott Fritchen, Powercat Illustrated, has it 40-20, KSU.
Levi Wolters, my esteemed colleague, threw out 24-23, KSU, which is the same score as last year’s game against Illinois State.
Mark Janssen, Manhattan Mercury, said, “52-3… KSU.”
Arne Green, Salina Journal, chimed in with 49-20, KSU.

So it’s unanimous. K-State should win.

GAMEDAY – San Jose State

17-7, K-State, at halftime

General observations – it is Wally Judge in attendance, and if Dalonte can pull that off, you all should start thinking about naming your future sons after Mr. Hill; I still don’t know what to make of this K-State football team, but I know that the Big 12 isn’t exactly impressing me as a whole; then again, it’s a much better conference than the Big Ten, that’s for sure; 168 yards of total offense for San Jose State? That’s a bit much; they gave us cookies in the press box for a snack, as if any of us really need the extra calories; Tafralis, who I’m crushing on, has completed 16 of 20 passes; Josh is 18 of 24, which is excellent as well – see, I can be complimentary; I really, really like Deon Murphy, so much so I’d try to get him at least 12-15 touches a game; I think I’d keep J-Mac on the sideline, an extra assistant coach, if you will; this probably it for the rest of the game. I might do a post-game wrap-up, but this was more time-consuming than I realized. Enjoyable, but time-consuming.

10-7, K-State, 2nd quarter, 2:52 left

Not quite a momentum shift, but you get the sense the Spartans are starting to believe. At this point a week ago, San Jose State was down 31-3, right? Not sure what to make of this first-half effort thus far, J-Mac’s exploits aside. Talk to me, people. Are you concerned? Or is it going to be like this all season?

10-0, K-State, 1st quarter, :38.4 left

Neon Deon goes to work, scoring his first K-State touchdown. Freeman looks plugged in. Helps that San Jose State can’t generate a pass rush, but I know, stop being negative, J-Mart. For real, he’s in a nice rhythm. How about John Houlik, the kid from Wichita? He’s a pretty good ballplayer. I’m warming to Tafralis. Not bad. Kinda crafty in a Jon Kitna kind of way, and I’m not certain that’s a compliment. But the Spartans might come away with points here, which is a legitimate feat. Nope, they’re going to keep shooting themselves in the foot. Or feet. RP isn’t happy. Good timeout for SJSU.

3-0, K-State, 1st quarter, 7:00 left

K-State couldn’t punch it in, but really, it’s just a matter of time. Interesting to see the Spartans come out and take a shot down the field. The receiver was open. Draw your own conclusions, J-Mac was covering him. In other news, I found out they call Josh Moore "J-Mo." That’s nice. San Jose State won nine games a year ago, but that has to feel like an eternity now. I swear, if Adam Tafralis ever finds some touch, he might put a scare into the Wildcats. Oh, there’s J-Mac again… Spartans past mid-field, but they have to punt. I’m shocked, I swear.

6:05 p.m.

Kickoff. Picking up where they left off, Josh to Jordy. Nice atmosphere here in The Bill. Not so sure the Spartans are up to this challenge. Wildcats basically toying with the visitors, and yes, I’m aware it’s just the first possession of the game. You just hope K-State doesn’t try to get too fancy…

4:40 p.m.

The atmosphere at The Bill is electric.

Not quite.

I’m flanked here in The Dev (the Dev Nelson Press Box) by Levi, who is admiring the middle section of the bleachers, nodding his approval. Guess you have to be here.

What we’re going to do is keep updating this post, adding new stuff to the top. As usual, your comments are welcome. Encouraged, really. You are the lifeblood of this blog, kind of like recruiting is for K-State football. So you’ve got that going for yourselves…