This was the offense that saw eight players combine for 221 yards rushing. Running back Thomas Clayton, in his first game of the season, contributed for 89 of those yards on 16 carries, which included a two-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Quarterback Dylan Meier only completed 10 passes on 20 attempts, but he threw for 125 yards and had two touchdowns, and he had, most importantly, zero interceptions.
"I'm not going to say that I'm an eternal optimist, but this is the standard that I expect," said coach Ron Prince after his team shut out the Owls 45-0 Saturday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. "We made improvements in the areas that we cited this week in practice, and we were able to establish a sound running game."
Last week, K-State did not score once on offense, but Saturday the Wildcats put the ball in the endzone five times offensively. Meier wasn't stellar, but he was efficient, and he led his team down the field on two long drives that were capped by touchdown runs.
The first consisted of eight plays for 83 yards and the second was nine plays for 66 yards. Touchdown runs, a 38-yarder by wide receiver Yamon Figurs and a two yarder by Clayton, capped both drives.
"We all have a lot better feeling this week after putting up so many points," Meier said. "This is a definite confidence boost for us all, but we still have a lot of things to work on before next week." The Wildcats would have won by even more if kicker Jeff Snodgrass had not missed two field goals. He missed a 22-yarder and a 47-yarder.
Quarterback Josh Freeman saw his first action as a Wildcat and was unimpressive to say the least. He went 0-for-4 on the day, which included one interception. He did have a couple of scrambles, and totaled four yards rushing.
Offensive player of the game – The entire offensive line
Anytime an offense puts up 221 yards rushing, that's a testament to those five guys who are in the trenches the whole game. Left tackle Michael Frieson, left guard Greg Wafford, center Jordan Bedore, right guard Gerard Spexarth and right tackle Nick Stringer did their job, and did it well.
Frieson started against Illinois State on the right side, but the coaches decided to switch him and Stringer around, and that decision paid off. Frieson seems more comfortable on the left side, and Stringer right now doesn't have the ability to play the left-side tackle position.
"I used to play on the left side, and I feel much more comfortable over there," Frieson said. "We were much better than usual as an offensive line, and this kind of game lets us know that we can get it done."
I am not going to say they were perfect, but they were leaps and bounds improved from last week's performance. They dominated a younger, weaker opponent in Florida Atlantic. Now let's see how they can handle a Marshall team that wants revenge from last year's 21-19 loss at home.
Offensive play/drive of the game – 38-yard touchdown run by Yamon Figurs
Figurs scored his second touchdown in as many weeks, but this time it was on a 38-yard reverse. Meier handed off to Clayton, who then flipped to Figurs. After Meier made a good block on the defensive end, Figurs saw nothing but open field all the way to the endzone.
The play capped an 8-play, 83-yard drive, and gave the Wildcats a 14-0 lead, and also their first offensive touchdown this season.
Figurs' run was the longest of his career, and the first time he had scored on a running play.
Surprise contributor – Terry Petrie
Granted the game was well in-hand when Petrie got a chance to get into the game, but he sure made the most out of his opportunity. He had one run, which was handed to him by Freeman, and took it 32 yards to the house late in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown.
Offensive Grade – B +
I would give the offense an A, especially after a performance like that one, but Florida Atlantic simply looked outmatched. The Wildcats still have numerous things to work on, and Meier is going to have to become a more accurate passer if this team expects to make a run in Big 12 Conference play.