Weak & Strong: Kansas State

Here, we’ll take a look at one area where each team in the Big 12 can expect to succeed, and another that needs improvement.

Kansas State

Weak: Pass-catchers

Kansas State's leading returning receiver is running back Daniel Thomas, but we'll get back to him in a bit. Brandon Banks is taking his 56 catches to the NFL, not to mention his game-breaking kick returns. Kansas State will have to replace receiver Attrail Snipes and tight end Jeron Mastrud, too. Kansas State threw just seven touchdown passes in 2009, and one came from Thomas.

Strong: Running back

Few could have expected just how effective Thomas would be in his first year in the program. A juco transfer, he was the Wildcats' offense as a junior. With speedster Banks gone, that doesn't seem likely to change. Thomas, like most good running backs, was marked by consistency. He ran for less than 79 yards just twice, and topped 100 yards on five occasions. In a 62-14 blowout win over Texas A&M, he ran for four touchdowns. Thomas touched the ball 272 times last season, and finding a suitable complement could help keep him healthy, a necessity if Kansas State wants to make a bowl game or challenge for the North title.

But like their Sunflower State rivals, the Wildcats could stimulate growth at an uncertain quarterback position with their running game.

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