Big 12 spring game recap: Kansas State

May, 2, 2011
5/02/11
10:00
AM ET
What happened:

  • Collin Klein put on a show with his arm, completing 25-of-37 passes for 358 yards and five touchdowns.
  • Transfer back Bryce Brown ran 13 times for 73 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
  • Running back John Hubert had 79 yards and a score on eight carries.
  • Tramaine Thompson led all receivers with seven catches for 106 yards and a pair of scores. Sheldon Smith had five catches for 138 yards and a touchdown.
  • In my favorite spring gimmick perhaps in all of football, coach Bill Snyder switched the scores at halftime as usual, and the Purple team made up of mostly first-teamers won, 38-37. The real score was 59-16, though.
  • A crowd of 8,594 showed up.
What we learned:
  • What's the deal with Kansas State quarterbacks and the spring game? Last year, Carson Coffman tossed seven touchdown passes and followed it up with 14 in all of the 2010 season. This year, it was Klein's turn. He did it against second-team corners, yes, but still. That's as long of a look as fans have gotten at Klein, who threw just 18 passes all last season. While he looked good, the other two quarterbacks on the roster struggled. Sammuel Lamur was 17-of-32 for 173 yards. Justin Tuggle hardly played, and finished 4-of-6 for 62 yards and an interception. That should tell you plenty about Tuggle's status on the depth chart. Klein is obviously headed into fall camp atop the depth chart, but don't look for an official declaration just yet. "I still don't see a great deal of separation," Snyder told reporters after the game. Maybe not, but it's pretty clear this is Klein's job to lose, especially if he keeps tossing it like that.
  • Bryce Brown didn't have a big day, but he did let a cat out of the bag: He's been practicing with a bum ankle since the first scrimmage. Despite that, it sounds like he looked pretty impressive and put up a decent stat line while doing it. There's no ignoring what Hubert did, and he'll get some touches of his own next season, but it's hard to see Brown turning into a bust.
  • Arthur Brown, meanwhile, is living up to some of the hype he built while dominating the scout team during the last year. He led all tacklers with 14 stops, and his nine solo tackles were as many as any other player had total. He also had a tackle for loss. If he's not a starter and one of the true stars of a defense that needs more speed next season, I'd be shocked. Brown turned heads by chasing down running back Robert Rose and forcing him out of bounds on what looked like a touchdown, leading Snyder to admit that Brown was the fastest linebacker he's coached since returning to the sidelines.
  • Defensive end Brandon Harold had a pretty underwhelming season last year after having a strong freshman campaign, but he got back on track with 2.5 sacks on Saturday. That has to be a welcome sight for defensive coordinator Chris Cosh. The Wildcats pass rush wasn't there last season, and Harold is the most talented of the group. Turning that talent into production is a must if Kansas State is going to get back to a bowl game.
  • Three of the Wildcats key defenders, linebacker Alex Hrebec and safeties Ty Zimmerman and Tysyn Hartman, sat out. Hartman fielded punts, but didn't play defense.
They said it:

"That’s what he’s been doing all spring. Collin has just been letting the ball go. After last year, a lot of people thought he would be coming in just to run the ball, but he can throw it."


- Receiver Chris Harper, on quarterback Collin Klein.

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