Welcome to today’s Dr. Feelgood!
This was a frustrating day for local college football fans. Both Kansas and Kansas State lost at home to Sun Belt teams. The lone bright spot was another Royals win. That makes three wins in a row for the Royals and a series win. The boys in blue are going for the series sweep today.
The Lead – Kirk Herbstreit says this season doesn’t count
Kirk Herbstreit asked a question on College Gameday Saturday about whether the college football champion this season will have an asterisks next to its name in the record books. Do you understand why he brought that up? It’s because his school, Ohio State, is in the Big Ten conference. The Big Ten chickened out of playing this season. There have also been those who have said that the Big Ten is doing this to try to affect the presidential election. But that’s why Herbstreit wants an asterisks. His team is supposed to be a title contender but they aren’t playing so it doesn’t count in his mind.
Not only should there be no asterisk for the winner of the college football championship this season, but the winner should be remembered as overcoming all of the garbage all of us have been dealing with since we were told that the world is ending. The winner this season will have had to overcome a lot. They will have to had stay healthy from things both on and off the field and be good enough to make the playoffs and then win two games against three of the best teams in the nation.
So, no. The winner this year will not have an asterisk Mr. Herbstreit. The Big Ten and PAC 12 will just be remembered as jokes. They caved to the pressure and anyone who caves so easily never could have won the championship.
Royals 7, Pirates 4
Arkansas State 35, Kansas State 31
Coastal Carolina 38, Kansas 23
1:05pm – MLB – FSKC – Pirates (Chad Kuhl, 1-1, 3.38) at Royals (Brad Keller, 3-2, 2.60)
Royals 7, Pirates 4
Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh was pushed back 30 minutes because the Pirates were not able to get to the Kauffman Stadium on time due to a police standoff with an armed shooter. The shooter arrived at Arrowhead Stadium and fired shots at stadium employees. Nobody was hit.
When the game started, Adalberto Mondesi continued his offensive turnaround. And if you haven’t noticed, Mondesi’s offensive surge coincided with the Royals’ winning streak. Mondesi had another home run in Saturday’s game and two hits total. He scored two runs and had two runs batted in. On the down side, and a bit concerning, were his three strikeouts.
The Royals offense totaled 13 hits in all. Whit Merrifield had the other of the two Royals home runs. Salvador Perez had two more hits and Alex Gordon had three.
Once again it was the pitching that gave the Royals a chance to win. Carlos Hernandez got the start and struggled as he allowed three runs in three innings.
The bullpen came in the game early and did the job once again. Kyle Zimmer pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.35. The usual bullpen suspects were all good except Scott Barlow who once again struggled. He allowed a run on two hits in his inning of work.
The Royals improved to 19-28 and are on their way to hurting their draft pick spot without making the playoffs.
– The Royals designated Matt Reynolds for assignment. He didn’t do anything at the major league level in limited playing time. However, he also didn’t look like a major league player when he did play. It might be unfair to say that in limited playing time but I didn’t see a future for Reynolds with the Royals.
– The Royals optioned Ryan McBroom to the alternate training site. He has struggled at the plate recently and the Royals want to see Nick Heath play.
– The Royals activated INF Kelvin Gutierrez from the disabled list and recalled OF Nick Heath from the alternate training site.
Arkansas State 35, Kansas State 31
Although the Wildcats started the game so well on Saturday, they were unable to continue that dominance throughout the game and had a surprising opening game loss at home to Arkansas State 35-31.
Things went well in the beginning. The Wildcats kicked off to start the game and held the Red Wolves to a three-and-out. Kansas State then blocked the punt and a couple of plays later Skylar Thompson made a nice throw for a touchdown and they were up 7-0. It looked like it was going to be a long day for Arkansas State. But it wasn’t.
Arkansas State’s best offensive player was WR Jonathan Adams. Adams made what was thought to be a terrific touchdown catch but it was later overturned because he did not have possession when he touched down out of bounds on his back. He still made the catch but not in time. Adams went on to catch three touchdown receptions. The kid is good.
But Kansas State had some positives on offense as well. Freshman running back Deuce Vaughn is all of 5’5” and 168 pounds but looks like he could spark the offense. He’s a tough runner and can have success on the outside and up the middle. He scored his first career touchdown in the second quarter to give the Wildcats a 14-7 lead.
Wildcats WR Malik Knowles made an excellent catch as well going up high for a one-handed catch similar to what Jonathan Adams did in the end zone early in the game. The reception should have been much easier as he was wide open. And if he had not fallen down from having to jump so high to catch the ball, Knowles likely would have scored a touchdown on the play.
The Kansas State offensive line had trouble moving the Red Wolves’ defensive line. That raises concerns for conference play which begins next week in Norman, Oklahoma. If you cannot push around Arkansas State what is going to happen against Oklahoma?
Arkansas State moved the ball easily at times including on their first possession of the second half. However, they weren’t able to punch it in the end zone and then missed a field goal. At that point you thought Kansas State might grab control fo the game as they were up 21-14 and the momentum seemed to go back to them after an impressive drive by Arkansas State that fizzled.
At the end of the third quarter, Skylar Thompson was pulled for one series in favor of freshman QB Will Howard the end of the third quarter. We’ll have to hear from Chris Klieman as to shy that happened but Thompson returned to the game after that.
Thompson did seem a little overexcited for this game. He overthrew multiple receivers for what could have been touchdowns. There are some Kansas State fans who have said that if Thompson returns next season, since this season doesn’t count against any players eligibility, that it would be a selfish mood. They actually said he would be blocking the development of the young quarterbacks. Wow. Now that’s selfish. Fans asking a player to end his career when he doesn’t have to so they can see another player at the position.
So the game didn’t go as Kansas State fans expected. That might be the understatement of the year. And it doesn’t get easier. The Wildcats travel to Norman, Oklahoma in two weeks. The result of this game doesn’t mean trouble necessarily in Norman. We saw Kansas State beat the Sooners last year in Manhattan and the Sooners have a young quarterback this year. But this loss certainly doesn’t make a Kansas State fan feel confident. It will be a two weeks for Wildcat fans and they will be very anxious on that Saturday.
Coastal Carolina 38, Kansas 23
Kansas was dominated in the first half of this game. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this game would have been different if Kansas had not handed the ball to Coastal Carolina four times. Carolina owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Kansas just fell behind too much in the first half to have a chance in the second half.
Kansas seems to need to learn the same lessons every season. They entered the season opener using two quarterbacks, again. MIles Kendrick is the best of those two and should be the sole quarterback from this point on. Let’s hope Les Miles and Brent Dearmon understand this.
The Jayhawks ran the ball a lot in the first half. Some of it was understandable. When the offensive line couldn’t stop Carolina’s rush, the initial thought was that the Jayhawks had to run. But the way the Jayhawks had success last season was passing the ball in a spread offense. They refused to do that most of the first half and the results were the same as when they refused to run against this same Carolina team last season.
In the second half, Kansas was forced to throw and they had success. The passing success in the second half helped open things up for the run. Maybe their best formation had Pooka Williams in the slot and Velton Gardner in the backfield. Pooka going out in a pass pattern gave Coastal Carolina something to worry about.
There was talk on Twitter about whether the two-point conversion calls were the right calls. They weren’t. Kansas was called for offsides on an on-side kickoff that they recovered. They weren’t. But those decisions didn’t determine this game. A complete domination of Kansas in the first half by Coastal Carolina was the reason for this result.
Kansas has a couple of weeks to learn from this game before they travel to Baylor to open the Big 12 season. It’s going to be another long season for the Jayhawks. Les Miles’ top priority right now needs to be finding a quarterback of the future and continuing to recruit. It’s a young Kansas team. They should grow a lot this season.
ROUND AND ROUND
– The New Orleans Saints reached an agreement with RB Alvin Kamara on a five-year, $75 million contract extension.
– The Minnesota Vikings reached an agreement on a five-year, $63 million contract with RB Dalvin Cook.
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