Last week we saw Collin Klein attempt four passes and complete two of them for nine yards. We also saw Kansas State defeat Texas 39-14.
Crazy, huh? Even the guy who led the Wildcats to victory is having trouble grasping how it happened.
“If you guys would have told me we would have beat Texas the way we did, and only throw the ball four times I probably would have laughed,” Klein said, “because I wouldn’t have believed you.”
It happened because it was so surprising. But Missouri knows all about Klein by now. That means a different, more balanced, strategy will likely need to be used Saturday against the Tigers.
That raises the following question: If Klein is once again asked to handle K-State’s quarterback duties by himself, how well can he throw the ball?
Klein says he ran a base spread offense in high school, and on occasion was asked to air it out.
“We were a lot like we are now,” Klein said. “Whatever it took to win. If we had to throw the ball 60 times, we’d do it. If we had to throw the ball four times, we’d do that too.”
But we are yet to see him go deep at K-State. On the season, he has completed six of nine passes for 33 yards and no touchdowns. Against Texas he was so worried about making mistakes that he passed up wide open receivers and tight ends, and ran ahead for short yardage on some plays.
Some of that surely had to do with the situation, and K-State’s enormous lead. But he will need to take some chances down field against Missouri.
Realizing this, I chatted earlier this week with coach Bill Snyder and a few players about Klein’s arm. They are all confident in his throwing abilities.
“He’s been on the field before,” Snyder said. “He’s thrown since he’s been a quarterback for us. If you’re eluding to did we not throw it because we didn’t think he could throw it, no that’s not the situation at all.”
Senior running back Daniel Thomas has caught passes from him in practice, and says he is very capable.
“He’s a good thrower,” Thomas said. “It was his first start and everything. He didn’t want to go in there and throw it around. He was probably worried about making mistakes. But he’s a great thrower.”
How far can he throw the ol’ pigskin?
“I haven’t really just put my foot on the line since high school,” Klein said. “But I feel like I can throw the ball and put it where it needs to be and make any throw on the field. Hopefully I get the opportunity to spread it around a little bit.”
Does Snyder feel comfortable granting that wish, and allowing Klein to throw the ball 20 times?
“Yes,” Snyder said. “I am.”
- – -
Get more on Twitter: @KellisRobinett