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Lockett’s record night ends in disappointment

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013, at 8:02 p.m.

— For Tyler Lockett, it was a game that will go down in the record books.

Too bad he couldn’t enjoy it.

Lockett, a junior Kansas State receiver, wasn’t just dominant against Texas on Saturday. He was unstoppable. He continually beat his man deep and caught 13 passes for a school record 237 yards. His performance shattered the previous mark of 214 set by current NFL standout Jordy Nelson in 2007 and ranks second among all receivers this season behind Texas A&M wideout Mike Evans, who thrashed Alabama for 297 yards.

"He is unbelievable," K-State quarterback Jake Waters said. "You’ve got a guy like him, I just threw it up to him a couple times and said, ‘OK, Lockett go make a play for us.’ When you’ve got a guy like that, it is definitely special so you have to get the ball to him."

Waters did, and Lockett had a career outing. But the Wildcats couldn’t get much of anything else going on offense, running for 115 yards and passing for 38 yards to other receivers, and lost 31-21 at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

So Lockett couldn’t celebrate. He left disappointed, like everyone else in K-State’s locker room.

"We fought back too late," Lockett said. "We got our spark too late. You can’t do that in the Big 12. You have to play from the first quarter to the end of the fourth quarter. I think we played well in the second half and the second quarter. We just have to get rid of that first quarter."

K-State fell behind 17-0 and never pulled within one score. Lockett was the main reason the game never got out of hand.

The Wildcats were overmatched up front and on defense, but the Longhorns had no answer for K-State’s speedy receiver, who averaged 20.5 yards per catch and made grabs as long as 52 yards. Had he been able to haul in two more passes that hit his hands, including one in the end zone late, it might have been a different game.

Still, he is up to 469 receiving yards through four games and is on pace to become the sixth player in K-State history to top 1,000 yards in a season.

After the game, K-State coach Bill Snyder said the Wildcats got exposed in several areas and lacked leadership.

As a team captain, Lockett said he will do what he can over the next two weeks to help his teammates prepare for another tough game at Oklahoma State. He is prepared to talk more in practice and lead in different ways, if necessary.

One thing is for sure: If he keeps making big catches, the rest of K-State’s offense will benefit as the season progresses.

"Jake threw the ball and I just had to run and go get it. Fortunately, the ball fell in my hands," Lockett said. "… I just had to focus on getting open. It was little things. Jake was throwing me the ball. I had to make the most out of every opportunity. That’s what I did."

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.

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