Tag Archives: Tyler Lockett

Preview: KSU vs. Texas A&M

12 Nov

Today two Big 12 teams on 2-game losing streaks meet at Bill Snyder Family Stadium to try and get their seasons back on track.

After seven straight wins, the Wildcats have been through the crucible with perhaps two of the more difficult back-to-back opponents in college football – Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The first was an ugly blowout at home, the second was as close as they come in Stillwater. Texas A&M’s last two losses came against Oklahoma and Missouri – the latter in overtime.

Athlon Sports picked the Wildcats (7-2) to finish 8th in the Big 12. It picked Texas A&M (5-4) to finish 2nd.

When you look at these teams from a national perspective, both have numerically some of the absolute worst pass defenses in the country. Of course, the Aggies are one of those pass-happy teams that the Wildcats have faced so often recently. The Wildcats took huge strides toward a legitimate passing game last weekend, but they have quite a way to go. In addition, there have been rumors (none confirmed) that freshman wide receiver Tyler Lockett – who amassed 315 all-purpose yards for KSU against OSU – might be injured and therefore out for this game and possibly more.

Both teams are much better equipped when it comes to rushing offense and rushing defense, though Kansas State probably has a slight edge in both. Quarterback Collin Klein will take it upon himself to make sure of that.

Bottom line, the Wildcats have learned quite a bit in the past two weeks. Here’s what they need to do to win today.

  • Keep OSU’s offense off the field. Cornerback Nigel Malone said the secondary is improving, even if high-octane offenses have obscured that development with their crazy numbers. Still, if time of possession is on the Wildcats’ side, it would be helpful – especially since Texas A&M has a more balanced offense than some of these other Big 12 teams. That said, with the way the Wildcats have struggled against the pass, the Aggies may pass more than usual.
  • Hold onto the football. The Wildcats have been pretty good about limiting turnovers this season, but against Oklahoma State they had several. This cannot happen. It’s a simple, fundamental thing, but you cannot ignore it.
  • Be tricky. Some of KSU’s biggest gains happened when the Wildcats ran misdirections for Lockett. I don’t know if the team has other players it is comfortable running that with or not, but it would definitely be a benefit to get the Aggies off balance by doing something unexpected.

Wildcats take painful loss on homecoming weekend

29 Oct

In the first seven minutes of the ball game, it appeared all the critics might be right about Kansas State. At the end, they were … at least about this particular game. The scoreboard read 58-17 Oklahoma. It was a devastating blow to the previously undefeated Wildcats.

“Right now my thoughts are, ‘Just forget about it,’” said wide receiver Tyler Lockett. “We were not ready to play, and we got beat badly, and nobody wants to lose like that.”

On homecoming weekend in Manhattan, the defense that had been so highly regarded took a horrible beating. The Sooners’ offense ran rampant, gaining 690 yards. 520 of those came through the air, the worst aerial attack ever by an opponent at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

While the skill and speed of No. 11 Oklahoma did not shock the Wildcats, they certainly did not expect the outcome they got on Saturday.

“We knew what kind of a team they were coming in,” said quarterback Collin Klein. “It wasn’t a surprise, but frustrating, not being able to execute like we were. We were struggling, and to watch them come right back – it was hard.”

Largely thanks to two interceptions by Nigel Malone in the first half, the No. 10 Wildcats trailed just 23-16 going into the locker room at halftime. As the second half progressed, it became clear who made better halftime adjustments.

In the final 30 minutes, the Wildcats did not score; the Sooners scored five touchdowns. Kansas State recorded just 32 yards of offense in the second half. Oklahoma got more than 10 times that number – 378, to be exact.

While those statistics make the home team defense look pretty awful, coach Bill Snyder said made it clear that it was a team loss.

“We have been able to, through the course of seven ball games, to possess the ball and move the ball well enough to keep people’s offense off the field a substantial amount of time, and we were not able to do that,” Snyder said. “This wasn’t totally a defensive malfunction to the degree that it cost us the ball game. We lost the ball game on both sides of the ball.”

Interestingly enough, it did not start out that way.

To begin the game, Oklahoma marched down the field on consecutive possessions while Kansas State answered with three-and-outs. The Sooners took a 14-0 lead.

A minute later, the Wildcats took advantage of the Sooners kick out of bounds. They got a field. It was 14-3. It was a modest beginning for the Kansas State offense, to be sure.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Wildcats committed a false start, the kind of attention-to-detail penalty that coach Bill Snyder cannot stand. On the second play of that quarter, quarterback Collin Klein weaved through the Oklahoma defense for a 42-yard touchdown rush.

All of a sudden, it was 14-10 Oklahoma.

On the Sooners’ next possession, cornerback Nigel Malone picked off Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, setting the Wildcats up for – wait for it – a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Klein.

Just like that, Kansas State led Oklahoma 17-14.

After giving up 17 consecutive points, the Sooners responded promptly with a touchdown of their own. They only went up by three points, however, as defensive tackle Raphael Guidry blocked the extra point. It was his third such play of the season after blocking two Texas Tech field goals a couple weeks earlier.

With the Sooners leading 20-17, the Wildcats sustained a nice long drive only to miss a 25-yard field goal. On Oklahoma’s ensuing drive, Jones threw another interception. It was Malone again, good for his sixth pick of the season.

Unfortunately for Kansas State, that possession yielded nothing after running back John Hubert fumbled and Oklahoma recovered. Only able to get a field goal from the possession, the Sooners went into the locker room with a six-point advantage.

Though the Wildcats did a decent job containing the Sooners in the first half and moving the ball themselves, they could not do either in the second half.

“We couldn’t move the ball, and we couldn’t stop them; it’s pretty simple,” Snyder said. “Every one of our victories has really been a team victory, it truly has, and this was a team loss. We struggled on both sides of the ball, very much. Take your pick.”

With Oklahoma State next on the dock, though, the Wildcats cannot dwell on this debacle. That sentiment is unanimous.

“We’ve just got to come together on Monday and bounce back,” said cornerback David Garrett.




Best Moments of Game 3

24 Sep

Overall, Kansas State’s win over Miami put the Wildcats in a great spot going into the Big 12 portion of the season. In such a good game, there were some even better moments. Here are the ones I found particularly compelling.

  • Goal-line stand to end the game – With Miami in the red zone and just minutes to play in the game, the Wildcats got the Hurricanes into a third down situation. A pass interference penalty on Kansas State, however, gave Miami new life in the form of first down just yards from the end zone. Despite the lack of distance, the Wildcats kept the Hurricanes from breaching the goal line. The team’s fourth-down try was actually ruled a touchdown before video replay showed that the player’s knee was down before he crossed the white line. That whole sequence demonstrated such impressive mental and physical fortitude on the part of the K-State defense. It was exhilarating to watch. (And if you watched the video, that was published on YouTube by ESPN.)
  • Tyler Lockett’s first touchdown – The wide receiver (and son of the Wildcats’ all-time leading receiver Kevin Lockett) had a rough outing last week, but on Saturday he came up big for the Wildcats, putting himself on the receiving end of a 20-yard zinger from quarterback Collin Klein for the team’s first passing touchdown of the game.
  • 4-of-4 in the red zone – Kansas State finished well. When they got within striking distance, the Wildcats struck. The efficiency with which the team trampled over the Miami defense and converted on those drives seems to be a very positive sign for the team.
  • Delay of game due to weather – Since I was unable to see the game live in Miami, I really enjoyed the irony that the “Sunshine State” was rainy and dreary while Kansas had beautiful, clear, perfect weather.

Locketts appreciate Snyder’s coaching for “life after football”

11 Sep

Kevin Lockett, Kansas State’s all-time leading receiver who went on to play seven years in the NFL, was not surprised that his son, Tyler, decided to play football for the Wildcats. What he did not expect was that the coaching staff would be strikingly similar to what it was when he played there from 1993-1996.

“I just had no idea that Coach Snyder and his staff would still be there,” Kevin said. “So that was part of what, I believe, made the decision a little bit easier on him when he was selecting a college. We knew the exact experience that he was going to get, and this was something that made me feel comfortable as a parent knowing that, again, he was not going to just get coached on the field, but he was really going to get prepared for life after football.”

Despite the must-win mentality of big-time college football, Snyder took the time, Lockett said, to help him mature as a young man and prepare him for life after football. Accordingly, the focus was not only on what happened on the field, but off-the-field behavior as well.

Aaron Lockett, one of the best kick returners in school history and the brother of Kevin, characterized Snyder as a “standup guy” who taught players to be accountable and productive and gave them a chance to be successful.

“Football is great, but considering that his father and I both played, went to a high level and now are both working, let’s look at education first,” Aaron said. “Make sure you go to a university that gives you an opportunity to be successful in life.”


“Is he related to … ?”

10 Aug

This season, there are several familiar surnames on the Wildcat roster – those of current NFL players, those of former K-State stars, and those that denote family players on the 2011 team. Here’s a snapshot of who will have the big expectations in coming years:

Tyler Lockett – Those who have followed Kansas State football across the years will recognize this freshman’s last name instantly. His father is Kevin Lockett, who is the team’s all-time leading receiver with 217 catches for 3,032 yards. His uncle, Aaron, is No. 4 on that list. Tyler comes to the Wildcats as a wide receiver, just like his famous predecessors. However, he played offense and defense at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and led his team to a 13-1 record and 5A state championship in his senior year. For his efforts – which included 42 passes for 765 yards and 13 touchdowns as well as 54 tackles and 6 interceptions – he was named First Team All-State by the Tulsa World. While receivers coach Michael Smith has had good things to say about this freshman, he may not see much playing time right away because of the depth at his position.

Ian Seau – Anyone who has watched professional football in the past 15 years knows this last name. Ian’s uncle, Junior, was a 12-time Pro Bowler at linebacker. Ian comes in to the Wildcat program at a defensive end. In his career at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, California, he amassed 89 tackles, 18 sacks and 4 blocked kicks. As much as the Wildcats’ defense has struggled in the past couple years, Ian may get to contribute quickly.

Marquel Bryant – Another incoming defensive end is a cousin to an NFL receiver who tore up Big 12 stadium fields during his time in college: Dez Bryant, who is now with the Dallas Cowboys. Marquel is another player who could help bulk up the Wildcats’ defense.

Kyle Klein – The brother of Collin Klein, a junior at Kansas State and the favorite to the win the starting quarterback position, played multiple positions in high school. While he competed at safety, tight end and quarterback in his hometown of Loveland, Colorado, he is currently listed as a defensive end for the Wildcats. He was a First Team All-State 4A selection as a senior, when he caught 47 passes for 853 yards and 13 touchdowns as a tight end and made 113 tackles and five interceptions as a safety. He was also a team captain for two years.