Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Midseason report: Kansas State
By Max Olson
It seems silly to say this, but Kansas State might be the best 2-4 team in the country. The Wildcats’ three Big 12 losses have come against three of the conference’s best in Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor and none by a margin of more than 10 points.
The Wildcats aren’t awful by any means, but they’re still trying to figure out what they are. It seems they might’ve finally stumbled onto their offensive identity now that Daniel Sams is running wild at quarterback, but he’s still very unproven as a passer with 32 attempts on the year.
The defense has a few nice parts and is ranked around sixth in the Big 12 in most of the key stats, and Kansas State is as good on special teams as any team it will play going forward. Even after four losses, there’s some room for hope.
KSU showed in its nail-biter against Baylor that it can play with a lot of teams in this conference. Perhaps getting a bye, West Virginia and Iowa State in the next three weeks is just what Bill Snyder, his coaches and his players need to get back on track. Surpassing six wins would require a few big upsets, but don’t rule that possibility out just yet.
Offensive MVP: Sams proved against Baylor he just might end up being one of the Big 12’s best quarterbacks by December, even if he’s not a great passer. Putting up 199 rushing yards as a quarterback is impressive no matter who you’re playing, and Sams’ 522 rushing yards on the year are third best among all FBS quarterbacks.
Defensive MVP: Replacing Arthur Brown was no doubt a tall task, but it appears linebacker Blake Slaughter is up to it. After taking a redshirt in 2012, the senior is off to an impressive start with a team-high 52 tackles, two sacks and three pass breakups.