Kansas State Wildcats quarterbacks Jake Waters (15) and Daniel Sams (4)
It’s no secret that the K-State Wildcats need to step up and drastically reconsider their gameplan. The Wildcats, who are 2-2 overall and 0-1 in Big 12 play, are a considerably different team from last year’s conference champions.The concentration, commitment and drive that were present during quarterback Collin Klein’s reign have yet to reappear and there are doubts as to if they ever will, this season.
Whether it be because of poor offensive play-calling or a general lack of discipline, the team that is currently on the field is not the team that fans are accustomed to watching. In their game against the Texas Longhorns, the Wildcats looked asleep. They fumbled, they were out-gained on the ground and were just generally out-played. The Longhorns blew past the Wildcats defense and racked up 227 yards to the Wildcats 115.
Perhaps last week’s starting line-up, consisting almost entirely of juniors and seniors, was expecting last year’s success to simply transfer over into this season, with little to no effort. This would fall in line with Snyder’s recent comments about his team’s lack of attention to detail and general lack of discipline.
Snyder has also repeatedly mentioned the need for his team to return to their core value system in order to improve.
“If you have turnovers, penalties and missed assignments, those are by and large a byproduct of the value system and discipline and being able to stay focused so you can execute those things the right way,” Snyder said.
Among the changes to be made will be adjustments to the depth chart and increased attention on the double quarterback system.
“It is competitive every day. Young guys go out and they understand the depth chart is fluid day in and day out, week in and week out so that is consistent. The guys that are doing the best are the guys that are on the top of the depth chart. It is that simple,” Snyder said.
Despite the Wildcats less than stellar record starting quarterback, junior Jake Waters, has still managed to stay in the running as one of the most prolific passers in the Big 12.
Against the Longhorns, Waters passed for 275 yards, averaging about nine yards per throw. This surpassed Longhorns quarterback, David Ash, who averaged six yards and Oklahoma State quarterback, J.W. Walsh, who averaged about seven yards in Saturday’s game against WVU.
At the other end of the Wildcats quarterback system is sophomore Daniel Sams, whose first minutes on the field came last year against the Cowboys. During his brief time on the field against the Longhorns, last Saturday, Sams averaged six yards per carry and racked up 51 yards in the game. With the Cowboys ranked third in sacks in the Big 12 and Snyder focusing on changing things up, one could venture to guess that he will shake things up by having Sams utilizing his arm more.Though he still out-runs Waters on the rushing game, it is unlikely that Sams will see much play time if he chooses to keep the ball on the ground.
During this bye week the Wildcats will need to look to regain their typical control of basics such as time of possession, turnover rate and minimization of penalties. Though they sacrificed less penalty yardage than the Longhorns, that accumulation was still more than they have let go in any other game this season.
The Wildcats will have to brace themselves for their upcoming game at Boone Pickens Stadium, where they’ll face the Cowboys, who are coming off of a disappointing 30-21 loss at West Virginia.