November 25, 2007

Game At-A-Glance: Fresno St. 45, K-State 29

FRESNO, Calif. -- The game started with a dose of hope for the Kansas State Wildcats. Just four plays into the Wildcats' game at Fresno State, running back James Johnson streaked through the Bulldogs' defense for a long touchdown run. That began what promised to be a shootout at Bulldog Stadium, but the Wildcats could not sustain their effort and a dreadful second quarter set up a season-ending 45-29 defeat for the Cats.



GAME AT A GLANCE




































Kansas State (5-7, 3-5 Big 12)

29


Fresno State (7-4, 5-2 WAC)

45


Bulldog Stadium • Fresno, CA

Attendance: 34,671

Kickoff time: 2:38 p.m. • End of Game: 5:33 p.m.

Temp: 60 • Wind Calm • Sunny

STATISTICS


KSU


FSU


1st Downs

21


30


Total Yards

382


549


Passing

256


313



Rushing

126


236


Penalties

10-153


9-80


3rd Down Conversions

6-13


7-13


4th Down Conversions

1-3


3-3


Turnovers

2


3


Possession

18:28


41:32


INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

Kansas State
Passing: Freeman 27-41, 256 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Johnson 9-71, TD
Receiving: Nelson 15-165, TD

Fresno State
Passing: Brandstater 23-29, 313 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Harding 22-15 yds, TD
Receiving: Moore 9-134 yds, 2 TD


SCORING SUMMARY


FIRST QUARTER

KSU


FSU


KSU TD - 12:57 JAMES JOHNSON 67 YD RUN (BROOKS ROSSMAN KICK)
Drive info: 6 plays, 80 yards.

7


0


FSU FG - 5:40 CLINT STITSER 46 YD FG
Drive info: 9 plays, 23 yards.

7


3


KSU TD - 4:57 LEON PATTON 45 YD RUN (BROOKS ROSSMAN KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 58 yards.

14


3


FSU TD - 3:38 MARLON MOORE 34 YD PASS FROM TOM BRANDSTATER (CLINT STITSER KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 65 yards.

14


10


SECOND QUARTER

KSU


FSU


FSU TD - 11:19 TOM BRANDSTATER 1 YD RUN (CLINT STITSER KICK)
Drive info: 8 plays, 87 yards

14


17


FSU TD - 9:43 RYAN MATHEWS 2 YD RUN (CLINT STITSER KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 6 yards.

14


24


FSU TD - 1:08 MARLON MOORE 5 YD PASS FROM TOM BRANDSTATER (CLINT STITSER KICK)
Drive info: 13 plays, 86 yards.

14


31


KSU TD - 0:02 JORDY NELSON 3 YD PASS FROM JOSH FREEMAN (JOSH CHERRY KICK)
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.

21


31


THIRD QUARTER

KSU


FSU


FSU TD - 10:00 LONYAE MILLER 4 YD RUN (CLINT STITSER KICK)
Drive info: 12 plays, 91 yards.

21


38


FSU TD - 2:36 ANTONY HARDING 8 YD RUN (CLINT STITSER KICK)
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yards.

21


45


FOURTH QUARTER

KSU


FSU


KSU TD - 2:56 ERNIE PIERCE 9 YD PASS FROM JOSH FREEMAN (JOSH FREEMAN RUSH)
Drive info: 8 plays, 50 yards.

29


45












"The record is what it is. It's 5-7. It's three of the last four years with a losing record. We had something positive occur last year at 7-6, but you can't look at this as a snapshot of the moment. There's a trend here. There are some things we have to try and work through and some things we have to overcome. We knew this would be one of our most challenging years when we came here and it's turned out that way."
- Kansas State coach Ron Prince on 2007






3,353
Passing yards by Josh Freeman in 2007, a school record.


1,606
Receiving yards by Jordy Nelson in 2007, a school record.

1,051
Penalty yards by K-State in 2007, a school record.

30.8
Average points allowed by K-State in 2007, the most since 1989.




Play of the game

K-State got a boost early. After it gained just 13 yards on its first four plays of the game, James Johnson went the distance. Determined to make potentially his last game a memorable one, the senior running back paused as Josh Freeman faked an end-around to Deon Murphy, then the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder took the ball from Freeman, plowed between a gap along the left side and darted 67 yards virtually untouched into the end zone.



It was the plan all along.



"Those were things we studied and scouted and thought we had a chance to get," K-State coach Ron Prince said.



Johnson, who had nine carries for 71 yards and one touchdown, was licking his lips and ready to strike.



"They didn't have good run support around the perimeter," he said, "so we wanted to take it out along the edge."



It worked once. And then twice.



Just two possessions later, sophomore Leon Patton darted through the same seam for a 45-yard score.




Defining moment

Want a trend to follow? Examine the second quarter. In each of K-State's losses in 2007 that was typically when things started to fall apart. Fresno State continued the trend.



In seven K-State losses, opponents scored to start the second quarter (6 TDs, 1 FG) and outscored the Wildcats 82-40 during what proved to be a crucial 15-minute period.



Fresno State opened the second quarter when quarterback Tom Brandstater capped an 87-yard drive by plowing in from the one-yard line. A key roughing-the-punter penalty on K-State cornerback Ray Cheatham kept the drive alive, though. With the Bulldogs in punt formation on fourth-and-1 at the Fresno State 22-yard line, a defender engaged Cheatham and rode him into punter Kyle Zimmerman a second after he booted a 31-yard punt. Zimmerman fell to the ground to draw the questionable flag.



Instead of forcing a three-and-out, the Bulldogs gained a new life. And they took advantage of it.



"The roughing the punter penalty was a key turning point in the game as far as momentum," Prince said.



Fresno State needed just 33 seconds to reach the end zone again. A Freeman fumble gave the Bulldogs the ball at the K-State 6-yard line and Ryan Mathews rumbled into the end zone two plays later. Later in the quarter, a five-yard touchdown pass from Brandstater to Marlon Moore gave the Bulldogs a 31-14 lead. Although the Wildcats scored when Freeman hit Jordy Nelson with a three-yard pass with two seconds left in the half, the Wildcats couldn't fully grab the momentum after trailing at the half for the fourth straight game.



"Unfortunately, throughout the season we've had a difficult second quarter," Prince said.



Said inside linebacker John Houlik, "For some reason we've become complacent in the second quarter and haven't been playing our type of defense."




Injury report

FS Marcus Watts (unspecified) did not start due to injury according to Prince. … DE Clayton Cox (unspecified) did not play … C [db]Jordan Bedore (left arm) did not play. … CB Joshua Moore (suspension) did not play. … OLB Antwon Moore (left leg) is out for the season.



Key performers

WR Jordy Nelson had 15 catches for 165 yards and one touchdown in his final game. His 15 catches matched his school record against Missouri State. He finished with season school records in receptions (122) and yards (1,606), which was also the most by a senior in Big 12 history. His 11 touchdown catches in 2007 ranks sixth in a season. Nelson finished his career with 206 catches for 2,822 yards and 20 touchdowns. His career catches and yards rank second in school history and his touchdowns rank third. … QB Josh Freeman was 27 of 41 for 256 yards with two touchdowns to finish his sophomore season 316 of 499 for 3,353 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He finished 2007 with school records in attempts, completions, passing yards and tied for fifth in touchdown passes. … RB James Johnson had nine carries for 71 yards and one touchdown. He finished the season with 174 carries for 1,106 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was the first player since Darren Sproles (2004) to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in a season. He finished his career with 272 carries for 1,509 yards and 14 touchdowns. … RB Leon Patton had a career-high 45-yard touchdown run. … SS [d]Gary Chandler[/db] had a career-high 14 tackles and FS Chris Carney had a career-high 13 tackles.



Notes

K-State is 0-2 against Fresno State. Fresno State has outscored K-State 90-50 in those contests. … It was the final game for 22 K-State seniors and the final home game for 16 Fresno State seniors. … Ron Prince is now 12-13 in two seasons at K-State. … Fresno State snapped a seven-game losing streak against BCS conference teams. Its last win was 37-31 OT against No. 18 Virginia in the 2004 MPC Computers Bowl. … K-State was outscored 198-112 in its final four games of 2007. Its 198 points are the most allowed in a four-game stretch since 1988 (215). … Fresno State posted season highs in points (45), points in a half (31) and total yards (549). … K-State recovered its first fumble since Baylor on Oct. 28. … The Wildcats are 2-6 on TV this season and 55-48 all-time in 103 TV appearances. The contest was televised by ESPN2. … Two bowls were represented in the press box (Humanitarian, Insight).



Next up

End of season: Kansas State

Nov. 30: Fresno State at New Mexico State ESPN2



...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!