Kansas State University

Vanderbilt 14, Kansas State 7: key moments, players and grades

K-State right tackle Dalton Risner discusses Vanderbilt loss

K-State right tackle Dalton Risner discusses Vanderbilt loss on Saturday. Sept. 16, 2017
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K-State right tackle Dalton Risner discusses Vanderbilt loss on Saturday. Sept. 16, 2017

K-State player of the game: Will Geary. The senior defensive tackle had his best game of the season, finishing with five tackles. He also forced a fumble and had a sack. His strong play at the line of scrimmage kept K-State in this game the whole way.

Vanderbilt player of the game: LaDarius Wiley. The Commodores defensive back had 11 tackles, two pass breakups and a key interception. Emmanuel Smith (12 tackles) and Ryan White (four tackles and an interception) also played well, but Wiley made the biggest impact.

Key moment of the game: With the score tied at 7 early in the fourth quarter, K-State took over at its own 13 following a Vanderbilt fumble. Alex Barnes rushed for 14 yards on the first play of the drive, but the Wildcats went to the air on their next three plays. All three of Ertz’s passes missed the mark, and the third was intercepted by Ryan White. Vanderbilt took over at the K-State 33 and scored what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.

Grades

Offense: F. Vanderbilt has a good defense, but K-State should have scored more than seven points against it. The Wildcats struggled to get anything going outside of quarterback keepers. Receivers dropped a number of well-thrown passes, and Ertz made some poor decisions in the second half. K-State managed 277 yards of offense. That won’t cut it in the high-octane Big 12.

Defense: A. The Wildcats looked great on the defensive line. Reggie Walker and company would have had several sacks, if not for Vanderbilt committing holding penalties to prevent them. Starting Elijah Sullivan at linebacker was also a nice boost to the defense.

Special Teams: C. Matthew McCrane missed an important field goal, and a penalty erased what would have been a punt return touchdown from D.J. Reed.

Coaching: C: It was telling that K-State’s lone touchdown came in the first half. Vanderbilt coaches made better adjustments and decisions as the game went on.

Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett

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