A mighty 17,000 Kansas State fans traveled to Vanderbilt, but in the end, the EMAW faithful could not help the Wildcats on the field as Kansas State fell to the Commodores in a low-scoring 14-7 affair. Simply put, K-State played a SEC game against a SEC opponent and got beat.
As you can probably imagine in a game with three total touchdowns, defense was the story on both sides of the ball. It was a grueling and gritty tilt, and Kansas State just couldn’t convert in the end. The Wildcats had one last opportunity to tie the game late in the fourth quarter on fourth down and eight on the Vanderbilt 19-yard line. They were within spitting-distance of the end zone, but Ertz was forced to tuck the ball and KSU came up a yard short of the first down marker.
You got the feeling it wasn’t Kansas State’s night when they had not one, but two touchdowns called back. The first came with about six minutes left in the first half when Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shumur fumbled the ball on his own 28 yard line and the Wildcats scooped it up for an easy six. It was ruled a touchdown on the field, but it was overturned on review and Shumur was ruled down despite any direct video evidence that he was actually down. The second touchdown called back came just before the end of the third quarter when the Wildcats housed a punt return just to have it called back because of a block in the back. This one was a little bit more obvious.
Through two weeks, Jesse Ertz was one of the most efficient passers in the country as KSU averaged 55 points in their first two outings, but that fell apart Saturday night. The receivers were not able to find much room to work in the Commodore’s secondary, and when they did, dropped passes or missed throws plagued the unit. Ertz finished 10/28 for just 76 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
With the passing game taken away, Ertz put the team on his back one carry at a time. He carried the ball 24 times for 126 yards and a touchdown. The Wildcat’s running backs got a total of 11 touches for 75 yards, combined. Despite his best effort, Ertz wasn’t able to single-handily beat the Commodores, and the Wildcats fall to 2-1 on the season.