- David Ubben, College Football
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Let's have a closer look at the last spring game in the Big 12.
Quarterback Jake Waters completed 14-of-18 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns, with 27 yards rushing and a score. His competition, Daniel Sams, completed 18-of-28 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns along with 28 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Tyler Lockett caught nine passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns, including a crazy, juggling 38-yard touchdown catch in the middle of a handful of defenders from Sams, and a 76-yard grab from Waters.
Tramaine Thompson also caught six passes for 161 yards and two scores.
Dante Barnett and Corey Jackson swiped interceptions.
16,383 people showed up.
Purple beat White, 76-3.
What we learned:
Kansas State has the most deceptive spring game format of any team in the Big 12, so it's hard to take much away from its spring games. Bill Snyder traditionally matches the first string against the second string, and then flips the score at halftime. Technically, Purple lost to White, 41-38, but that couldn't be less representative of the competition level on the field. You learn very, very little from Kansas State's spring games, and that's just what Snyder likes.
Take the stat lines for Waters and Sams with like 1,000 grains of salt. We've seen deceptive stat lines from Carson Coffman and Collin Klein throwing the ball in spring games, so wait until the fall before passing much judgment or feeling too hyped about either guy. I did like what I saw from Sams and Waters in general. Sams looked so much more comfortable throwing the ball than he did last season against Oklahoma State. He was playing a lot looser, and for good reason. It's a spring game, and no national titles are at stake.
The defense lost most of its talent from last season, so going against the twos was going to make that matchup even more one-sided. The defense didn't have anybody who could run with Thompson and Lockett, and you saw what happened. Additionally, most of the offensive line is back, and the defense lost the entire front line. That's going to make it even more lopsided.
The biggest takeaway: There is no progress in the quarterback race. Snyder says the race is tied, and he flipped a coin to see who would start the game. "I cannot give you a distinct answer right now until we sit down and scrutinize things a little more closely in regards to this game as well as the other 14 practices," Snyder told reporters when asked where the competition stood. "I saw some very positive things with both of them. We saw some issues that we have been aware of during the course of the spring."
Kansas State is going to be a bit better than some people think, and I definitely feel nervous about my own feelings about the Cats finishing barely in the bottom half of the Big 12. These are the kinds of teams Snyder surprises most often with. Kansas State will be young, but it will have some under-the-radar talent on both sides of the ball, despite the loss of big names. Beware of the Cats.
3dDavid M. Hale