Kansas State University

K-State report: No. 8 Stanford 26, K-State 13

K-State quarterback Jesse Ertz (16) slips past Stanford linebacker Bobby Okereke (20) Friday evening.
K-State quarterback Jesse Ertz (16) slips past Stanford linebacker Bobby Okereke (20) Friday evening. The Wichita Eagle

Friday’s box score

The box score can be found here.

First Quarter

Key Play: A 97-yard punt return from Christian McCaffrey for a touchdown was nullified due to an illegal Stanford block. Instead of six points, the Cardinal had to start their second drive with poor field position.

Key Stat: Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns completed all five of his passes for 69 yards.

Second Quarter

Key Play: Burns connected with receiver Michael Rector for a 40-yard touchdown on the opening play.

Key Stat: McCaffrey got going and rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Third Quarter

Key Play: Charmeachealle Moore stepped out of bounds while returning a fumble, negating a touchdown.

Key Stat: K-State possessed the ball for nearly 12 minutes.

Fourth Quarter

Key Play: McCaffrey broke free for a 41-yard touchdown run to clinch the game.

Key Stat: Ertz threw his first collegiate touchdown pass.

Player of the game

Christian McCaffrey. There’s a reason he’s a Heisman contender. He showed off his playmaking skills once again Friday, amassing 210 all-purpose yards and scoring two touchdowns.

Grades

Offense: D. It will take more than 335 yards and 13 points to win in the Big 12. Jesse Ertz and Byron Pringle never appeared on the same page, making it difficult for K-State to throw the ball all night.

Defense: B. The first half was a disaster, and K-State needs to make adjustments against the pass. But K-State figured things out in the second half and held McCaffrey mostly in check. Dante Barnett gave the unit a nice lift in his return.

Special Teams: B. K-State is fortunate Stanford was penalized for an illegal block that nullified a 97-yard punt return by McCaffrey. The penalty had no impact on the play.

Coaching: C. The Wildcats committed too many needless penalties, including delay of game, and that’s on the coaching staff. K-State, at times, looked unprepared.

Reason to hope

K-State’s defense showed serious signs of potential against one of the nation’s most dynamic offenses.

Reason to mope

It could be a while before K-State starts to click on offense.

Next up

The Wildcats get a week off before hosting Florida Atlantic on Sept. 17. They will be heavily favored in their home-opener. Scoring should come easier against a lesser opponent.

Kellis Robinett

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