A Bill Snyder-coached Kansas State football team posted its 21st shutout Saturday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium with a 37-0 skunking of Kent State.
It was K-State’s first shutout of an opponent in 61 games dating back to a 45-zip win over Florida Atlantic in 2006, which left the Wildcat defenders all in smiles.
“That was great. We haven’t had one for a long time,” said linebacker Tre Walker. “I thought we played great, but we always have more work to do.”
The first of many plays-of-the-game came from defensive back David Garrett, who intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards down the sidelines for the first score of the game just 2:19 into the contest.
Of the pick-for-score, Garrett said of his first career TD return, “I don’t know what happened. It happened so fast … I was just playing football.”
While Garrett supplied the early-game high, it was the team defense that starred late in the game.
Kent State threatened to score midway through the fourth quarter moving the ball to the KSU-1, but a variety of penalties ended the drive back at the 9-yard-line. Kent State had run 17 plays in a 70-yard drive, which included an amazing 14snaps inside the Wildcat 20-yard line, but didn’t score.
Walker called the stop, “Awesome.”
“That was a great feeling,” said Garrett. “I don’t care about what level you’re playing, it’s always hard to get a shutout.”
Snyder added, “I was pleased that after we put ourselves in a precarious position backed up against the goal line, and still came back and held them. I was proud of that because it was a mixture of ones, twos and threes.
“I told our defense that I was proud of them. It has been a number of years since we had one (shutout),” said Snyder. “They’re not as easy to come by today as it used to be.”
Though the first eight quarters of football have been against Eastern Kentucky and Kent State, the fact is K-State has basically played shutout football.
Basically? Well, last week the Wildcats did give up a score, but it came on a 1-yard drive after an interception return to the KSU-1.
Saturday, Kent State tried to move the ball 11 times, but netted just 199 yards. Of those 11 possessions, only one totaled more than six plays, and only two netted more than 28 yards.
Overall, Snyder said, “I thought we played reasonably well defensively.” And he later added, “We gave up some extra yardage that we shouldn’t have, but I’m not complaining. They did a pretty good job.”
Linebacker Arthur Brown led K-State with 12 tackles, which included two for negative yardage, but Snyder said of his play “… not as well as he can. It’s not about his numbers. It’s about being where he’s supposed to be and probably playing more aggressively. It’s not that he played poorly, but it’s just you expect so much out of him.”
For the brief two-game season, K-State has given up a total of 128 rushing yards for a 2.0 per carry average, and allowed passes to be completed at a 20-of-49 rate for a modest two-game total of 200 yards.
The seven total points allowed in the first two games are the fewest since 2002 when K-State opened the season with a 48-3 win over Western Kentucky and a 68-0 blistering of Louisiana-Monroe..
LACK OF RUNNING BACKS:
K-State’s true running backs carried the ball just 19 times for 74 yards – John Hubert 9 for 29, Robert Rose 5 for 29 and Angelo Pease 4 for 16.
Snyder said it wasn’t by design: “So much of it depends on how it plays out in the ballgame. We don’t put a pencil to it that you’re going to carry it eight times, and you’re going to carry it eight times. It’s not feasible to do it that way.”
Bryce Brown did not play due to a minor injury, but Snyder said, “He could have played.”
K-State enters an all new world of competition on Saturday when it travels to Miami for a 2:30 p.m. (central time) kickoff against the Hurricanes in a game that will be televised by ESPNU.
Miami defeated Ohio State on Saturday, 24-6, limiting the Buckeyes to just 201 yards of offense.