Our ESPN Stats and Info crew does a great job all season, but they step it up for the BCS bowls especially. What did they find in Kansas State's loss to Oregon? Let's have a look:
The biggest thing that stuck out? Collin Klein struggled badly on downfield throws. You probably saw that, but the stats say he completed none of his six attempts further than 10 yards downfield, but both of his interceptions came on passes longer than 10 yards. In wins this season, Klein completed 60 percent of those throws for 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. In losses, he completed just 23 percent of those throws with no scores and five picks.
Oregon's defense also held Klein to just seven yards on designed rushing plays. He had averaged five yards a carry on designed running plays this year, but against the Ducks, Klein averaged less than a yard per carry, his lowest average of the season. Credit a solid defensive performance from the Ducks there. This was just the second game this season Klein went without a rushing touchdown on a designed running play. Missouri State was the only other game that occurred.
K-State's defense played well by my estimation, but all three Ducks touchdown drives lasted less than 2:30.
Running back Kenjon Barner racked up 120 of his 143 yards in the second half and had eight rushes in which K-State's defense didn't touch him until he was at least five yards downfield. That spells disaster for a defense that was solid against the run for most of this season. The second half included four Barner rushes longer than 10 yards.
That third quarter when Kansas State's offense sputtered cost them dearly. K-State makes its mark with time of possession, but the Ducks had the ball for 9:23 in the third quarter after having just 8:51 of possession in the first two quarters combined. Kansas State can't win like that, and last week, it didn't.