Tag Archives: ksu

The Perfect Saturday

By FanningKSU

What does the perfect Saturday look like to you? It will look different to everyone, but for me, it was this last Saturday. Bill Snyder, I think it’s fair to say that you’ve officially “calmed the waters”. K-State’s thumping to the Miami Hurricanes set record as one of the worst losses in the Miami programs history. However, the buzz is focused around a K-State football team that seems to improve year-by-year in Snyder’s second run at K-State. He continues to over perform with a list of characters that are thought of as low attention recruits. In a day of age where recruiting rankings are everything, he continues to prove otherwise.

What’s the difference? My answer is Bill Snyder’s first retirement. Bill struggled his last few years at K-State and everyone said, “he was getting too old and out of touch with the players”. Bill took that time and was finally able to watch the game from the booth. For three years he itched and had to watch a Ron Prince football team that continued to descend year-by-year back to irrelevance. However, Snyder never stopped. For those who have set up in the press box with Bill, you noticed him writing down notes during the game. Was he scheming? Was he doodling? Who knows? But I believe he was planning a return.

What makes Saturday great is everything that surrounded it. Nothing has changed in Lawrence. Charlie Weis embarrassed the Big 12 by losing to Rice and continues to embarrass himself as a Head Coach at the D1 level. Another loss for a KU Football program that continues to be the laughing-stock of the conference. How about Missouri? How’s that SEC treating you now? With the Tigers loss to Georgia Saturday night, every program that left the Big 12 in the last two years had lost on that same day. Nebraska goes down to UCLA, A&M to Florida at home, and Colorado to Sacramento State. Yes, Sacramento State! These programs continue to embarrass themselves, while K-State continues to over work opponents climbing their way back into the Top 15 in the AP Poll. It doesn’t seem real. How is K-State doing it again?

There are several questions marks for the future. K-State will lose a great group of Seniors this year and they will need to definitely improve on the recruiting trail. However, Daniel Sams continues to calm those worries. Sams looks every bit as advertised and more. Coach Snyder will need to find a way to continue to get Sams touches throughout the season. Not only is he one of the most athletic players on the roster, but he also has a knack for finding the end zone. You can’t ignore 6 carries for 108 yards, and 3 touchdowns. There has to be away to implement both Klein and Sams into the lineup.

I understand that it’s still early in the season, but the buzz is real. This last Saturday was perfect! Several national analyst questioned if K-State could retain the success that they instilled from last year. I don’t know if this team can get to 10 wins, but it definitely looks doable. Personally, I think this season has the makings of one of the best in Kansas State’s history.

[Ed. note: picture removed because for some reason, NOW fanning’s embarrassed about fanning. Why now? You ask him.]

Discuss on the board: http://goemaw.com/forum/index.php?topic=22588.0

_FANalysis – Struggles in Waco

Defensive Focus: Alignment, Exectution, and Personnel.

Speed.  Once again the Cats faced an offense with more speed than we have, and once again that offense gouged us for big plays.  Unlike the Nebraska game, we got some offense and special teams plays to sort of make it interesting, but all three phases came up short in the end and the Cats came home from Waco with a disappointing loss.  This week will look at some specifics, but overall this is a big picture look at K-State’s defense and many of the problems we have seen this season.

When I look at a game like this and the number of breakdowns we had defensively, I look at 3 things.  1st, are we aligned soundly.  2nd, did we execute the scheme.  And 3rd, do we have the players to execute the scheme.

As hard as it is to believe at times, most of the time in the 1st area (alignment) we weren’t terrible.  Granted, there are always times you could be another 3-5 yards in one direction or another with your safeties and LBs, but against spread teams that is going to happen.  Especially against and offense like Baylor’s, even more so than against Nebraska.  K-State continues to use a 4-2-5 look, mostly trying to have 2 high safeties and covering up the WRs with a 3rd safety, an inside backer, and the corners.  The spread, and especially Baylor’s frequent use of bubble screens, quick outs, and quick slants forced us to play our safeties wide to help.  Plus, more often than not Baylor stayed balanced by formation; utilizing doubles (4 WR to each side) or twin WRs to one side, a single split to the other, and then a FB with 2 RB looks or a TE, mostly to the split side.  Overall in watching the replay, we had what most would consider sound alignments, though clearly not 100% of the time.

IMHO, much of our problem comes in area #2, execution of the scheme.  We have way too many instances of players taking poor angles and/or fitting up against the run too wide or too tight.  This is especially true of our ILBs and Ss.  This was compounded in the passing game this week by the fact that against Baylor we played man coverage (or a man-zone mix of sorts) on more snaps than I can remember in the last several years.  I didn’t chart the exact number, but we were in man well over 50% of the time, and it would be safe to say we were in man for 2/3 of Baylor’s offensive snaps.  Baylor schemed against this well, both in the passing game and the running game.  In the running game we would often have an ILB in man on Baylor’s FB or TE; Baylor would run a quick out with either of those players instead of using them as a blocker and essentially remove an ILB from being part of the play.  Plus, Baylor was effective in using crossing routes and underneath routes to pick defenders off, namely on their first score.  They used a trips bunch set and the inside receiver essentially picked off the defender allowing Baylor’s WR to be wide open over the middle leading to the score.  On Baylor’s 3rd drive, Baylor picked up a big play by running the inside WR in a trips set on a slant; in this set the high safety had him man and was 15 yards off of the WR at the snap making it nearly impossible to cover him without ILB help.  And our ILB help, especially from Childs, is not what it needs to be.  Many times against doubles formations, the ILB would cover flats to help, getting underneath Baylor’squick out/slant passing game.  The problem was too often our ILB was late getting to his flat, or too wide allowing the Baylor defender to get behind/under neither his pass drop.  And finally we have our safeties continuing to struggle in our run fits and angles; this allowed Finley to turn several runs that should’vebeen knocked down at around 10 yard gains into 30+ yard runs, including the 80+ yard run/fumble.

Then you have the 3rd area, andwhether or not we have the players to consistently make plays.  Last weekend really showed that this is a big problem as well.  K-State had many, many opportunities where you simply need a player to make a play where we failed to do so.  On Baylor’s 3rd drive, we had Griffin defended well on zone read, but a missed tackle allowed Griffin to get to the edge allowing an impromptu reverse making what should’ve been a 5 yard loss become a big gain inside the 5 yard line.  On Baylor’s 4th drive, Garrett was in position for an INT on a sideline route but it fell out of his hands.  Later on that drive Walker bit terribly on  little curl move, allowing his WR to get open for a 50+ yard TD catch and run.  On Baylor’s final drive of the half, Baylor has a 3rd and 15, and we have a safety step forward initially allowing a WR to get wide open on a seam route for the first down.  A couple plays later Harold had  free shot at Griffin, but he slowed down to contain, allowing  the QB to step up and complete the pass down-field for another 1st down.  Later in the same drive we had first Harrison, then Hrbec in position inside the 5 to make INTs that would’ve prevented Baylor’s FG.  It was more of the same in the 2nd half.

The problem is really what can be done about this.  Some of the issues will only be solved with recruiting better players, but continued questions about this scheme are valid.  1st, I have mentioned several times K-State’s continued use of 2 high safeties, and the fact that we give the same pre-snap read most of the time.  In some ways this can be a benefit, but without the correct personnel, it continues to put a ton of pressure on certain positions, especially the safeties.  For a “check with me” offense like Baylor’s it makes things easily because they know the angles we have, and can attack specific spots on the field.  Even though we’ll disguise coverages and the movements we’ll make after the snap, the QB still has fairly easy reads andthey know where we’ll be, especially the players they want to attack when they think they have a match-up advantage.  The counter to this is to move around more and show different alignments pre-snap, then move after the snap.  IMHO, this can be more effective, especially against a “check with me” offense, because you can confuse the QB and OC making the calls from the booth.  Plus, to run this scheme well you need at least one very good DT, one very good ILB, and one very good safety.  Right now we don’t have any of those.  We have a bunch of guys that would be really solid college players playing along-side dominant players, but a lot of bad college defenses have those.  With spread offenses and zone blocking, you have to have some guys that will defeat blocks and make plays at the point of attack, and we simply don’t have that consistently right now.

At the end of the day, with our current personnel there is not a defensive scheme we can run that is going to shut down most of the opposing offenses we’ll see in the Big 12.  But in the current scheme, and others, there are plenty of ways to limit the big plays, and create more big plays of our own.  Obviously the current staff is not getting everything done to make this happen as we’ve seen too often this season.  We did lose a couple pretty important players from last year’s defense, but to go from giving up 105 yards per game and 3.5 YPC rushing to 230 and 5.6 YPC this year is not acceptable.  Most good college defenses are founded on stopping the run, and this is a big reason this defense is struggling, especially against teams with dual thread QBs.  Until we can figure out a way to limit big plays, we’ll see more of the same, even though this team will still probably be a 7-8 win team.  But K-State fan’s expectations are for more than that, and those expectations aren’t unreasonable.

_FANalysis – KU Offensive Explosion and Defending Baylor

Typical KU FanOffensive Focus: Power, Play-action, Quick Passing Game and Formation

It was good to get the Sunflower Showdown back to what K-State fans came to enjoy throughout most of the 90s and early 00s before Kansas decided to hire, and then get rid of, the best football coach they ever had.  Once again an over-matched Jayhawk team took a beating, and Bill Snyder showed why he can be one of the best play callers in college football.  In his most well called game of the year, Snyder’s mix of power running game with short passing and play action put the Jayhawk defense on its heels.

The first two drives of the game only netted a FG, but the pattern was set that would eventually put the KU defense in a bind and lead to six consecutive touchdown drives.  As always, K-State came out with multiple formations and personnel groups, using 5 different looks in the first 10 plays, opening the game with a play-action boot pass, several quick pass routes to the sideline and on bubble routes, and mixing in a few 3 step drops.  Then in the running game some power and zone-lead mixed with a couple poorly executed speed option runs.

The first touchdown drive of the game featured more power and zone-lead football, running right at the Jayhawk defense.  But blended in well was another naked boot pass, a couple 3 step drop routes, triple option zone read, and finally a well executed option on a huge 4th down play at the goal-line.  The highlight on the TD run by Coffman was excellent blocking by McDonald at the point of attack as the big TE (the previous speed options were run to the TE as well) was able to finish off two blocks on the edge, leaving Wilson no one to block as Coffman finished the 8 yard run.  The play was set up well because we executed much better against KU’s scheme compared to the first two speed option runs that were both negative plays.  KU was sending a defender quickly to take away Thomas and the pitch, but this time K-State blocked the QB defender, leaving a big lane for Coffman.

The 3 drives to finish the half all featured aggressive opening plays after gaining a huge field position advantage; first off the Brown caused fumble and the Zimmerman return, the 2nd after stopping KU on downs near mid-field, and the 3rd after pinning KU deep and forcing a 3 and out, setting the Wildcat offense up at midfield.  For the first drive Snyder dialed up a reverse off of speed option, narrowly missing out on a huge play for Quarles on the left edge.  The 2nd and 3rd drives both opened with vertical routes by Harper off of zone-lead play action, resulting in a deep post with a great catch by Harper and a wise decision by Coffman on the 2nd not to force a throw; eventually tucking the ball for positive yards on a scramble.  All 3 drives resulted in TDs for the Cats, again using a variety of play calls and personnel groups to score.  Coffman runs on QB power leads and zone read, inside zone featuring Thomas, and to end the half a lot of power and zone-lead football right at KU’s defense.  This lead to a big play action pass off zone-lead to a wide-open Tannahill for the score.

The opening drive of the 2nd half would feature more of the same, utilizing essentually every effective play we saw in the first half; power running, quick passing game to the edge with bubble, inside zone, and finally a naked boot pass to another wide open TE, this time McDonald.  At this point the route was on.

One of the interesting wrinkles I noticed was the alignment of the FB from the 3rd through the 7th drives.  While we often align Wilson various places, on the 14 of the 34 plays we lined Wilson up as a wing, behind the TE, and used various motions to set up the power and zone-lead running game, and the play action off of that.  Again, it may not seem like a big deal, but the offensive staff definitely saw something KU gave with this alignment, and we utilized it frequently to take advantage of a weakness in their defense.  I also really liked the mix of passing game, but Snyder did a great job of setting Coffman up to be successful.  Quick routes to the edge or bubble, 3 step drops that Coffman made great decisions and reads with, and a mix of zone-lead and boot play action passes.  All of these put a ton of pressure on the defense because they are forced to stop Thomas, but all of them also are pretty simple reads for the QB, and as long as he makes good throws (and he did) you are going to get a lot of positive plays.

What this means for Baylor

This should bode very well for our game in Waco.  Like KU, Baylor utilizes a 4-3 defensive look, though they appear to be much more aggressive.  Baylor’s biggest play-makers on defense are an undersized weak-side LB and an aggressive strong safety.  They have 2 huge defensive tackles as well.  But CU, though a much different team than us personnel-wise, did have quite a bit of success on things we like to do also; power running game, inside zone, short passing game, and play action.  We don’t need Coffman to be nearly perfect like he was against KU; but we do need him to make the good decisions and reads he made in Lawrence, but as I said, a lot of that will be set up by Snyder’s play-calling.  If we do this and avoid costly mistakes, especially turnovers, our offense should be able to put up points against a decent (but far from great) Baylor defense.

The Big Concern in Waco

The biggest problem (as we all know) will be defending a very fast Baylor offense.  The thing Baylor’s offense does the best is spreading you out andthen making you defend from side-line to side-line.  They really don’t look to throw down the field a bunch (at least they didn’t against CU), but they do a great job of attacking creases in the defense.  In the passing game look for Baylor to throw bubble routes, slip screens, and quick slants, out of mainly 3 and 4 wide formations, at least 15 to 20 times.  Then they will run zone read, mostly the triple option look with a receiver running bubble for pitch.  Against CU’s 4-3 look, their zone read sent the RB Finley off tackle, and Griffin up the middle, often pulling a guard around the center to add an extra blocker on the inside LB for CU.  This led to a ton of big runs for the Bears as they averaged nearly 9 yards per carry.  Finally, they mix in a bit of power running game, empty, and play action off of zone read; but if you don’t at least contain the quick bubble/slip routes and zone read, those other things really don’t matter.   Though their schemes are much different, personnel-wise Baylor is similar to the CFU offense.  Griffin is an explosive runner, Finley is a solid back, and they have quality recievers with speed.  Their skill set and scheme will provide a big test for our defense this week.

Reading that probably doesn’t fill Wildcat fans with confidence, and given our defensive problems this will be a stiff test.  We did handle KU’s offense very well, but they are completely different.  Even though they ran zone read a ton, the QB was never a threat and Webb didn’t run the ball one time.  We handled KU’s edge plays well, bubbles and jet sweeps, but again, they didn’t put as much pressure on us from the QB spot.  KU tried to go vertical in the passing game much more than I expect Baylor to, especially since we defended it very well in Lawrence. 

I will also say that Colorado did some stupid defensive alignments, being far too aggressive at times considering their personnel, and often Baylor exploited this for big plays.  IMHO the key in Waco, as much as we hate to say it, is stay patient with a bend but don’t break philosophy.  One of Baylor’s biggest weaknesses is that they are prone to mistakes; penalties, poor read by Griffin, and several of their skill guys (especially Griffin) carry the ball very loosely and are prone to fumbles.  If we can keep their speed in front of us, I think we can eventually force a mistake and limit their offense.  Baylor will have plenty of yards, I fully expect them to put up 400+, but we can keep this team in the 20s, similar to UCLA, ISU and CFU, if we stay patient on defense.  Do that, and it really comes down to the offense taking advantage of every opportunity and consistently putting points on the board.

This game will probably come down to the last few possessions.  With bowl elgibility on the line for both teams, its unfortunate this game won’t be on TV.  It will be interesting to see if the Cats can get their 2nd true road win in a season for the first time since 2003.

An open letter to goEMAW.com

An open letter to goEMAW.com,

While my husband, and Staff Writer, Scotch McAngus takes great care in constructing an in-depth analysis for each and every KU sporting event, he felt the poetry of goEMAW’s editorial required a more feminine response. With great respect and thanks to Earnest Thayer, please enjoy.

Carson at the Pass

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Wildcat fans that day;
The score stood 7 to 0, with but mere minutes more to play,
And when Jordan Webb fumbled, and James Sims did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, “If only Carson could but get off just a pass—
We’d put up even money now, with Carson on the grass.”

But Jake Laptad blitzed Carson, as did also Justin Springer,
And the former was a hulk, while the latter was a ringer;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy hung;
For there seemed but little chance of Carson getting the ball flung.

But then Kendall threw a cut block, to the wonderment of all,
And Thomas, the magnificent, managed to hang on to the ball;
And when the pile had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
The Wildcats had gained a yard, and the down was only third.

Then from five or ten Wildcat faithful there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the hill,
For Carson, mighty Carson, had another opportunity still.

There was ease in Carson’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Carson’s bearing and a smile lit Carson’s face.
And when he took his position, left hand on his center’s nuts,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt, man that kid had guts.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he as he barked out another play.
Five thousand tongues applauded drowning out what he had to say.
Then while the defensive line was biting at the bit,
Defiance flashed in Carsons eye, a sneer curled Carson’s lip.

And now the pig-skin ball came hurtling through the air,
And Carson stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy receiver the ball unheeded sped —
“Mother fu-,” uttered Carson. “Incomplete pass!” the field judge said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
“Fourth down! Fourth Down!” shouted someone in the crowd;
And the Jayhawk fans all celebrated, they need only hold for one more down.

With a smile of Christian charity great Carson’s visage shone;
He called another play; he bade the game go on;
He barked out the cadence, a lineman jumped off-side;
Yellow flags filled the air, and Carson beamed with pride.

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Turner and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that his team wouldn’t jump off-sides again.

The sneer has fled from Carson’s lip, the teeth are clenched in hate;
He steps up under center, ready to seal the Jayhawks fate.
And now the young man holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Springer’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Manhattan — mighty Carson’s been knocked out.
– Ginger L. McAngus
October 13, 2010

The rumors are flying!

Interest in the Bryan McGinnis situation is literally soaring to new heights.  Despite the intimidation of quasi-legitimate website God’s Awesome Gift: KSU, connections between the San Jose State mega assistant and the KSU AD’s office continue to grow.  This morning an undisclosed source close to the situation emailed goEMAW the following picture:

This is further backed by reports that the Synders were vacationing at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  Has Bill Snyder chosen his successor?  It would make sense for KSU since B McG purportedly recently interviewed to replace disgraced head coach Ron Prince.  While the mainstream local media seems to be muzzled, here at goEMAW we will always put news first, even at the risk of our own safety.

The plot thickens like a soup with starch added to it

goEMAW.com previously reported that coaching superstar Bryan McGinnis had shown interest in the KSU head coaching job at KSU.  Non-traditional news source God’s Awesome Gift: KSU has now backed off of their original breaking story.  While we at goEMAW wish this was a surprising development, the truth is that GAG has clearly been silenced by the AD office at KSU (as an aside we at goEMAW dot com promise to never back down from a story or be pressured by anyone to not pursue a lead) .   The sudden change in tune (with the laughably fake name Bryan McPennis) might fool the local beat writers, but goEMAW.com still has the photographic evidence of B MgC at the KSU Spring Game.  Just how deep does this go?  Buckle your seat belts boys and belles, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Hot Sticky Rumors for a Hot Sticky Day

With job replacement fever sweeping through the Wildcat Nation, we here at goEMAW have just learned that hot coaching commodity Bryan McGinnis may be in the mix to replace ousted KSU football coach Ron Prince.  Not surprisingly, the outlaw gonzo sports website God’s Awesome Gift: KSU is at the center of this rapidly developing story.  While GAG may have a reckless reputation it appears as if this time they have stumbled upon something that could be massive.   Soon after GAG posted a short casual phone conversation with B MgG,  out of nowhere an anonymous source posted the following:

My my my oh my, me thinks the Spartan doth protest too much!  In his haste to deny his interview with KSU (which GAG never actually claimed he made!), B McG may have just blown the doors off of the AD’s subterfuge.  In fact a source close to the situation has given us the following photograph taken at the recently played KSU Spring Game:

While we would love to take B McG at his word, the evidence is starting to mount that something is going on in Vanier.   Just what is being hidden? We at goEMAW are dedicated to pursuing the story to the fullest extent.  Stay tuned because this might just be the story of the decade.