Kansas State Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Kansas State Wildcats
Big 12


It is hard to call an 11-1 season a disappointment. In fact, for Kansas State, it should be literally impossible. Before Head Coach Bill Snyder arrived and after he departed the first time, the Wildcats knew very little of double digit win seasons. Bowl eligibility was their goal, and they didn’t always achieve it. Now, 11-1 is coming up short?? Well, when you reach first place in the BCS standings the week before Thanksgiving, and end up falling out of the National Championship game, it cannot be anything but disappointing, no matter the goals in August. Winning the Big 12 conference is a great achievement in and of itself; KSU has had a tremendous season and Coach Snyder should be in the running for national coach of the year when bowl season has wrapped up. However, to sit in first place with two weeks remaining in the regular season and lose is hard to swallow even if disappointment is too harsh for this Wildcats’ success story.

2012 Record: 11-1, 8-1
Coach: Bill Snyder
Coach Bowl Record: 6-7

Big Wins: 9/22 at Oklahoma (24-19), 11/3 Oklahoma State (44-30)
Bad Losses: 11/17 at Baylor (24-52)

Much like the Urban Meyer-coached Florida teams headed by Tim Tebow, this Kansas State team follows the lead of their running, awkward throwing, God-loving, excitement-brewing quarterback. Collin Klein was very good last year. In 2012, he took another leap forward though and into the Heisman Trophy conversation. Leading the rushing attack with 20+ rushing touchdowns to his name as well as the air attack, Klein accounts for a large chunk of everything Kansas State does. This, despite his long throwing motion, reminiscent of Tebow in that it doesn’t always look pretty and does little to impress NFL scouts but always gets the job done. The other strengths of this team are directly related to Klein. They are good at not allowing sacks, thanks in large part to the quarterback’s athletic ability, and they have a fantastic turnover margin mostly because the guy who always has the ball (Klein) rarely turns it over. The impressive Wildcats scoring offense was buoyed all year long by a peerless return game. With elite punt and kickoff return games, K State helped flip field position and make it even easier for Klein and company to score.

As prolific and impressive as Klein and the running game was this season, the defense was just average and the passing offense could not come back from big deficits. This did not really come up until the Baylor game that ruined State’s championship aspirations but it was evident all year long. The running game and special teams would control the clock and field position, oftentimes scoring in bunches along the way, while the defense did enough to thwart the opponent. Rarely was Klein asked to repeatedly make plays in the passing game mainly because that is not his strength as a quarterback or the team’s design. The defense was just okay pretty much across the board until November 17. On that Saturday, Baylor ran all over the Wildcats, amassing 342 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, while converting 11 of 16 on third and fourth downs. Perhaps it is unfair to make a broad statement with just one game’s worth of evidence but this game was so important to their season and KSU simply could not overcome the huge second half deficit they were faced with. This is a knock on Collin Klein to some degree but mainly a knock on the offense that was created. It was meant to gain and maintain leads, not to make heroic comebacks. Klein had to be a hero from the kickoff for the Wildcats to keep winning.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: John Hubert, RB, 892 yards
Passing: Collin Klein, QB, 2,490 yards
Receiving: Chris Harper, WR, 786 yards
Tackles: Arthur Brown, LB, 91
Sacks: Meshak Williams, DE, 9.5
Interceptions: Ty Zimmerman, S, 5

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 201.09 (31st in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 214.64 (84, 9)
Total Offense: 415.73 (55, 7)
Scoring Offense: 40.55 (11, 4)
Rushing Defense: 121.00 (18, 2)
Pass Defense: 250.00 (80, 5)
Total Defense: 371.00 (40, 3)
Scoring Defense: 20.82 (22, 1)
Turnover Margin: 1.73 (1, 1)
Sacks: 2.45 (31, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.09 (18, 3)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Cotton Bowl        Arkansas (16-29)
2010    Pinstripe Bowl    Syracuse (34-36)
2006    Texas Bowl        Rutgers (10-37)
2003    Fiesta Bowl        Ohio State (28-35)
2002    Holiday Bowl        Arizona State (34-27)

*all team stats through 11/24


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