Waters, Wildcats get back on track in victory

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 27, 2013
Just when it appeared as if Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was settling on one quarterback, Jake Waters came back with gusto on Saturday. So did the Wildcats, for that matter. Waters completed 10 of 13 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-12 rout of West Virginia that gave the defending Big 12 champions their first conference win of the year. Waters also ran for 55 yards in proving that you can never quite count him out. ''I am proud of him,'' Snyder said. ''When things do not go your way that is what you are supposed to do. We are all supposed to do that. That is what life is all about. I think it will be meaningful and beneficial to him. It will benefit him 20 years from now.'' It certainly benefited the Wildcats (3-4, 1-3) on Saturday. Waters, a record-setting junior college transfer, began the season as the clear starter, but he had struggled throughout the start of conference play. His confidence appeared to be shaken as he tried to run a modified version of the option-style offense that Snyder tends to favor. Meanwhile, run-first quarterback Daniel Sams seemed to seize control of the starting job, gaining nearly 200 yards on the ground in a competitive loss to Baylor. An electrifying ability to elude defenders in the open field also made him a fan favorite. It's not as if Sams did anything to hurt his chances of playing against the Mountaineers, either. He was 8 for 8 for 93 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for 16 yards. But whenever Waters was in the game Saturday, the offense seemed to be humming. ''The whole second half we played well as a team, when we got that kind of time from the offensive line,'' Waters said. ''When we have our wide receivers getting open, John (Hubert) running the ball and Daniel coming in to run the ball, it really opens up our offense tremendously.'' Hubert had 86 yards and a touchdown on the ground. It was the kind of comprehensive offensive performance that the Wildcats have struggled to put together this season. Waters and Sams combined were 18 of 21 for 291 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, and the team piled up 157 yards of rushing offense. They were at their best in the second half, too. The Mountaineers actually led 9-7 at the half, but Kansas State outscored them 28-3 after the break. ''Jake and Daniel were really throwing the heck out of the ball,'' wide receiver Curry Sexton said. ''Jake got in there the third and fourth quarter and started spinning the ball and putting the ball in spots where we could catch it and we really had no choice but to catch it.'' Part of the reason the offense got in synch - and the pass-first Waters was able to put up big numbers - was the return of top wide receivers Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson. Both had been dealing with injuries, and both of them contributed against West Virginia. Lockett caught eight passes for 111 yards and three scores - two from Waters and the one from Sams. Thompson had three catches for 53 yards and Waters' other touchdown pass. ''A lot of times when you sit out you get to see how much exactly you missed the game,'' Lockett said. ''You just want to come back stronger and I think that at the end of the day, even at the beginning of the day, the biggest thing we wanted to get out of this was a win. Fortunately, things began to happen and we got out of there with a win.'' It couldn't come at a better time, either. After winning just its second Big 12 title last season, the Wildcats had dropped their first three conference games in frustrating fashion, squandering second-half leads in two of them. By beating the Mountaineers, the Wildcats suddenly have bowl aspirations again. They face struggling Iowa State next Saturday, and still have TCU and Kansas on the schedule. They also emerged from the Big 12 cellar, leaving the Jayhawks and Cyclones alone at 0-4. ''It's been a long time since we all got a win,'' Lockett said. ''It was very great to be able to celebrate it like that, and I think that as long as we remember exactly what we did between Monday and Friday, I think we could do a lot of good things.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The 22 most iconic college football traditions
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Fairley appears to take cheap shot at Stafford

Sean Payton unhappy about Brandin Cooks trade rumors

Report: Jeff Fisher signed two-year extension with Rams

Report: Patriots have no intention of trading Gronkowski

Report: A 2015 investigation led to Kevin Wilson’s departure from Indiana

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Houston denies report that Art Briles is candidate for coaching position

Draymond Green defends himself again after kicking Harden

WATCH: Video of Pirates Jung Ho Kang car crash that led to arrest

Rob Gronkowski placed on IR, ending his season

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Steve Kerr admits using marijuana to treat chronic back pain

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 13

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker