Kansas State Football: The Best Defense That Gets No Credit
While the experts continue to drool over some of college football's more high profile teams—Alabama and Notre Dame, I'm looking at you—one team is just not getting enough credit for its outstanding defense: Kansas State.
The Big 12 currently has five teams ranked among the 25 most productive FBS offenses and two of those teams—Baylor and Oklahoma State—are ranked first and second in total yardage.
The SEC currently has one team ranked in the ten most prolific offenses (former Big 12 member Texas A&M) and despite claims that the Big 12 lacks strong defenses—and that's why their offenses are so prolific—so far, the Aggies are proving those claims wrong.
The Aggies are rolling through the SEC without a lot of hiccups. If the SEC's defenses were so great, how does Texas A&M have the fifth-most productive offense in FBS?
Texas A&M scored 63 points on Auburn while LSU only managed 12 points against Auburn. Auburn has the SEC's next-to-last-worst defense yet LSU could only score 12 points?
Alabama scored 52 points on Arkansas but the Crimson Tide still didn't come close to matching A&M's offensive yardage: The Aggies rolled up 716 total yards on Arkansas compared to 438 total yards by the Crimson Tide.
My point is simple: If the SEC had more teams like A&M in its conference, the conference's defensive numbers wouldn't be nearly as impressive as they appear to be. And that leads me to my next point.
Kansas State needs more respect for the work it does against such high-power weaponry littering the Big 12 landscape.
Kansas City Star reporter Blair Kerkhoff tweeted an incredible stat that highlights just how good the Wildcats' defense is:
Kansas State points off opponent turnovers this season: 111, Opponents points off K-State turnovers 0.
Kansas State limited Oklahoma's offense to just 19 points. It also limited Texas Tech—ranked No. 12 in total offense in FBS—to just 24 points.
Against Oklahoma State last Saturday, the Wildcats' defense gave up 504 total yards yet forced five turnovers—the Wildcats' 481 total yards weren't the difference in the game, it was their defense.
Down 44-30 late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys drove 72 yards to inside the Wildcats' 10-yard line in an attempt to make it a one possession game. Wildcat corner back Allen Chapman intercepted a Clint Chelf pass in the end zone for a touchback and ended the Cowboys' upset bid.
The Wildcats' defense is No. 1 in FBS in turnover margin. They've only lost two fumbles this season but have recovered 12. Their interception ratio of lost-gained is equally impressive at 2-13.
When you consider the vast amount of prolific offenses in the Big 12, Kansas State's defense is impressive as hell.
It's time the Wildcats got more credit for that.
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