August 27, 2014

Kansas State Preview: Records To Fall?

This is the second of a two-part series previewing the Hogs Cotton Bowl matchup with Kansas State.

In part one of our Kansas State preview, we took a look at the offensive side of the ball for the Wildcats.  Trying to figure a way to stop quarterback Collin Klein is going to keep the Arkansas defensive coaches awake at night.  Not so much though for newly hired coordinator Paul Petrino and the offense.

If there is a weakness in this Wildcats team, it is on the defensive side of the ball.  K-State ranks 73rd nationally in total defense (398.8 yards/game), primarily because it has been very vulnerable against the pass.

Kansas State ranks 104th in Passing Defense (267.3 yards/game).  The Hogs rank 13th in Passing Offense (307.8 yards/game).  You see where we’re headed here?

When you look at it, though, it’s not all on the KSU secondary.  The Wildcats have only recorded 18 sacks on the year (90th nationally), and one guy — defensive end Meshak Williams (6-2, 245) — has seven of those.

So just how much trouble have the Wildcats had in stopping passing offenses in 2011?  We went back and took a look at the five teams that K-State played that could really throw it.  Like Arkansas, the Big 12 is full of some pass-happy teams.

Team (Quarterback) Comp/Att/Pct Pass Yds Pass TDs Points Allowed
Baylor (Robert Griffin, III) 23-31  74% 346 5 35
Texas Tech (Seth Doege) 43-63  68% 461 1 34
Oklahoma (Landry Jones) 35-47  74% 505 5 58
Oklahoma State (Brandon Weeden) 36-46  78% 502 4 52
Texas A&M (Ryan Tannehill) 27-46  59% 210 3 50
5-game Average vs. Passing Offenses 35-46  70% 404.8 3.6 45.8

The A&M game is a bit deceiving given it was a four overtime game, but it was a 31-31 game at the end of regulation.  You could also argue the Aggies weren’t really a passing team — with Michael and Gray running the ball, they were pretty balanced most of the time.

If these numbers hold true Friday night, we could see Tyler Wilson holding a bunch of Cotton Bowl passing records.  Currently Graham Harrell of Texas Tech holds the records for attempts (58), completions (36), passing yards (364), and passing touchdowns (4).

The Wildcats aren’t totally void of playmakers on defense though.  Miami (Fla.) transfer linebacker Arthur Brown (6-1, 223) leads the team with 95 tackles.  Cornerback Nigel Malone leads the secondary with seven interceptions on the year.

In the return game, the kidney injury to freshman wide receiver Tyler Lockett (son of Kevin Lockett, K-State’s all-time leading receiver) during the Oklahoma State game was a big blow.  Lockett had taken two kickoffs back for touchdowns, and while his replacement, speedster Tramaine Thompson (5-7, 165) has been good, he’s not shown so far to be that breakaway threat.

Kicker Anthony Cantele (17-22 FG, Long 54) and punter Ryan Doerr (40.5 yard average) have been serviceable, however the Wildcats have suffered three blocked kicks this year.

All in all, this game comes down to the Razorback defense and their ability to stop Klein.  The Hogs are poised to score a lot of points on the fast track in Arlington as long as K-State doesn’t possess the ball (see first half of the Ole Miss game for reference), and keep Tyler Wilson on the sideline.

It should be a fun one…the RBN crew will be there to witness it.  Arkansas is favored by 7 1/2 points.

  • HungryHog

    It’s going to be tough to break the top 5 now since the OSU/Stanford game was so close. Obviously, we must get the win first and foremost – no matter what. I will take a Liberty Bowl style – U.G.L.Y. win at the end of the day if we have to go there… In the books, it goes down as a “W”.

    However – I would LOVE it if the Hogs could come out hungry, mean, and looking to set the stage for next year by hanging a big score on these Cats. We shouldn’t be in awe by the big stage. We have played there plenty and last year the stage was bigger. You are absolutely right – it all comes down to stopping Klein. We haven’t had great luck at stopping Pryor or Newton last year. If we give up 3rd and 8 on a QB run more than once, I may jump off a bridge..

    10 wins is beautiful. 11 would be establishing ourselves at the top like we all wanted to do at the beginning of the season. The talking heads on TV do give us props in “The big 3 of the SEC West” now. It is our turn to back it up. Let’s go in there and show them how Hungry Hogs play football.

    After this – it is time to raise some support for the Basketball Team! Anderson has those boys playing with aggression. They lost their leader and are gutting it out on the floor. This entire program is an elite program and just getting better.. Jeff Long – you da man.

    • GolfHog

      Long was still working on Tuberville and Grobe when Bobby called the first time. Bobby had to call back to be taken seriously. Long is the one who wanted to give Pelphry another year. I would say at this point, Long is the luckiest, best managed, AD at a very successful program. He has a track record of being saved from his bad decisions. If he can raise the money to support this group of coaches he will have done his job well.

      • OwassoHog

        I could do without Jeff Long. Bobby’s the only thing that he’s handled correctly!

    • Hawgfan100

      “If we give up 3rd and 8 on a QB run more than once, I may jump off a bridge..”

      Since it’s Willie’s guys and, largely, Willie’s schemes still, better let the EMS guys know ahead of time.

      “I could do without Jeff Long.”

      Long will do just fine, thank you (unless, of course, you’ve got a better replacement waiting in the wings? No? Didn’t think so…).

  • Carolina Hog

    I don’t know guys. This is the strongest I’ve since us in both football and basketball at the same time since 1990 and I love the fact the guy is making major infrastructure improvements, has a 30 year plan, and has increased the value of the program by 60% in the last three years. Also, don’t underestimate the fact that he gets along well with Bobby P.

    The thing is, if it was all Frank’s fault then you have to give Long some credit even if some of it was due to good luck.

  • Roadhog

    I agree with all of the above.

    I’ve never thought J. Long was a dynamic AD, but that’s just my perception, which could be wrong. I tend to judge people a lot by what they say and how they say it. Part of being AD is picking coaches (with advisory support) and part of it administration, including publicity. Perhaps Long is a good adminstrator. Hope he can continue to grow into the job himself, as it appears he will be here for a while. He certainly seems level-headed, even-tempered, methodical, likeable.

    Cotton Bowl: Hogs defense has yet to shut down a mobile quarterback. We’ve outscored a few of ‘em, but we haven’t stopped ‘em. The KState defense ranks even worse than ours, so we should be able to score lots of points, hopefully enough to win.

    I agree with HungryHog, it’s now going to be hard to move up in the polls unless we dominate the Cats.

    B-Ball: I am also impressed with the way Anderson’s young team is performing now, especially given the loss of Powell. These players seem mature beyond their years. If Mike can recruit some quality frontline/inside help, these guys could make some big noise in the future.

  • HungryHog

    I agree that Long got lucky. Can you imagine where we would be if Grobe had said yes??

    BUT – the man did take advantage of getting lucky with Petrino and came up with the 17 million dollar buy out. Maybe he did want to give Pelphrey another year.. and although I was calling for Opie’s head before many, I will admit it was pretty loyal of Long to defend his coach.

    It does seem to me though, that Long (and actually Petrino much to my delight and surprise) – these guys are actually becoming HOG FANS.. Real, true to life, Hog fans. At first I saw an administrator coming in from Pittsburg – and a hard nosed, spurned football coach. But these guys are starting to love Arkansas, and get it as hog fans. They will never be redneck, rose colored glasses, completely drunk in another state calling the hogs – hog fans.. but – I am starting to see them as “one of us”.

    I don’t know why/how this got into a Jeff Long thread – sorry Sunshine.

    Big game on Friday.. I believe in the hogs.. Please put someone on Klein on 3rd and 8. “Broken play – Klein is going to try to run it.. OH Jerry Franklin takes his head off.”

    • Roadhog

      Your views are well-considered and well-stated. You are right that Razorbacks sports programs have made a lot of improvement in the last four years, and they appear poised to make more progress in the future.

      Fayetteville is a great place to live, and they are making a lot of money, getting recognition, so why shouldn’t these carpetbagger coaches be happy there? Who knows how drunk they get and call the Hogs at their private parties? They might put wild frat parties to shame.

      No doubt Haynes will see your post and put an OLB on Klein on 3rd and 8. Otherwise he will have to face the same relentless criticism Willy heard.

      • Jim Dogg

        It’s not clear, how much impact Haynes will have on the Cotton Bowl game. Haynes has faced some very good mobile QBs this year with OSU. Here are the stats: Nebraska (L), Martinez; rushing; 17/102, passing; 16/22, 196, Indiana (W), Roberson; rushing; 20/70, passing; 11/21, 174. Michigan (L),, Robinson; rushing; 26/170, passing; 14/17, 167. OSU kept Wisconsin’s Wilson in check with 6/-12, but who needs Wilson if you have Ball. But OSU won the game perhaps because they kept Wilson in check. I’m not sure if this gives me any confidence as to asking Haynes how to keep Klein in check, especially if he doesn’t know the personell that well. But the stats speak for themselves (Better to ask VA Tech’s Beamer how he kept Robinson down (13/13), except for his occasional long pass completion)

      • Roadhog

        CB Petrino must be confident in Haynes, since it was reported that Haynes rather than an onboard assistant would call defensive plays in the Cotton. I hope Haynes has more success stopping a mobile QB than the clueless Willy R had.

        You’ve done your homework. Good job, J. Dogg.

  • soupdhog

    Since this has turned into a Jeff Long post…..

    You make your own luck in business folks – and this is a business. Long’s actions and decisions have created the state of where we are now – a #3 ranking, national recognition in football, baseball, and the basketball team is showing signs of improvement. The Mike Anderson get is brilliant, and Long got it done.

    Long also interacts well with fans (a great twitter follow BTW), and is visible all over the place. He also seems to be an outside the box thinker, as opposed to Broyles who was so dug into ‘his way’ he ran the basketball program into the ground and almost did the same with football.

    Long is good for the university, and I’m glad we have him.