Defense Improves, But...

Defense Improves, But...

Kansas State competed with Colorado Saturday, but that was all: Colorado 14, Kansas State 13. The loss leaves K-State 1-2 in the league and 4-3 overall. It marks the third straight season that the ‘Cats have opened the season 4-3.

On paper, it was a better defensive night for Kansas State. After all, the Wildcats' "D" stopped a run of four straight games of giving up 500-plus yards.

K-State did hold Colorado to 14 points and 353 yards, but on this night that wasn't enough to secure a victory: Colorado 14, Kansas State 13.

"We played good today, but not great," said Wildcat safety Tysyn Hartman It was definitely an improvement, but it wasn't enough."

With CU's No. 99-ranked offense going against KSU's No. 111 defense, the Buffs worked the clock for 36:21, which included a 21:27 to 8:33 time of possession advantage in the second half.

While the final numbers look, and were decent … only to a point. In the second half, CU ran 47 plays to KSU's 24, so the Buffs accomplished its keep-away mission. Eleven times CU rushed the ball for at least 10 yards against K-State, plus added four other passes of at least 13 yards.

On eight possessions, the defense held CU's offense to no more than 23 yards. But on the flip side, the Buffs converted 7 of 17 third-down plays, which included a 22-yard gain on 3rd-and-15 in the closing three-plus minutes of the game.

On the plus and minus night of defensive work, Joshua Moore said, "We came into this game with a lot to prove, but we didn't quite do enough."

Defensive end Ian Campbell added, "We showed improvement, but also have a lot of things to fix. We definitely had no quit at all."

Coach Ron Prince admitted, "It's a game of 'What if?' and woulda, coulda, shoulda. The reality is we didn't get the job done."

That leaves K-State to wonder, what next?

"That's a tough question," admitted KSU quarterback Josh Freeman. "I do have a good feeling about how we will respond to this." That will be difficult, however, as K-State faces no. 4 Oklahoma, No. 19 Kansas and No. 16 Missouri in the next three weeks. Three teams with a collective record of 16-4.

Should the Wildcats not pull a significant upset, that would mean the remaining home dates with Nebraska and Iowa State would be "must wins" to become bowl eligible at 6-6.

GAME NOTES:

* The last time K-State was involved in a one-point game was in Ron Prince's debut, which was a 24-23 win over Illinois State in 2006.

* The last time KSU was involved in such a low scoring game was a 21-3 loss to Nebraska in 2006.

* K-State's offense had just six three-and-outs through the first six games of the year. Saturday against Colorado, it had six series of three plays, or less.

* The Wildcats had scored points in all but two of their first 24 quarters played this season. Against the Buffs, they were skunked in the second and fourth periods.

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