October 4, 2008

Wildcats reeling after sizable defeat

In the days leading up Saturday's game between Kansas State and Texas Tech, many wondered what a high-powered Red Raider offense was capable of against senior defensive end Ian Campbell and a reeling Kansas State defense that had given up back-to-back 500-yard games. And as it turned out, the always-dangerous Tech offense exceeded expectations by turning in a historic performance.

The 58 points the Red Raiders hung on the scoreboard Saturday was the highest total allowed to a visiting conference opponent at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and the most since Nov. 18, 1989, when No. 2 Colorado scored 59.

Talk about a scarlet letter for the collective chest of the 2008 Wildcat defense.

Texas Tech gained 626 total yards to go along with a gaudy point total in its 58-28 mauling of the Wildcats, handing K-State one of its worst home losses in recent memory. The Wildcats have now given up more than 500 yards of total offense in three straight contests, and the 133 points the defense has allowed in that span is a statistic that hasn't escaped Campbell or his teammates.

"This is pretty much my life," Campbell said. "It's frustrating for me as an individual to not be able to do what I need to do for this team to win."

It's not just Campbell that seems particularly beaten down, however, as the team's collective vibe following Saturday's 30-point loss seemed to be one of embarrassment and possibly impending doom.

"I'm embarrassed," said K-State safety Chris Carney. "I'm embarrassed for myself and for my team."

After not allowing 500 total yards in 86 straight home games, the Wildcats have now done so in each of their last two, raising serious questions about not only personnel but also the coaching staff and the direction of the program as a whole.

So which is it? Are the biggest issues facing a once-proud Wildcat defense personnel-related or schematic?

"I would say, at this point, it's both," K-State head coach Ron Prince said following the loss. "I can't sit here and say that anything that was going on today was positive. I thought we were in position to make quite a few plays, but we didn't make them. That's the responsibility of myself and the other coaches. This is college football. If this stuff doesn't work, it's on us."

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