John Hubert challenging Bryce Brown at RB

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder issued a warning yesterday to anyone who thinks Bryce Brown is the slam-dunk pick to be named starting running back when fall training camp comes to an end.

John Hubert, a 5-foot-7 sophomore from Waco, Texas, could also win the job.

“He’s being competitive for the No. 1 spot,” Snyder said of Hubert. “It’s not as though the depth chart is set and he’s out of the picture and comes in to slow it down or speed it up, whatever the case may be. He’s being competitive for it.”

Brown, a former high school All-American and Tennessee transfer, boasts a 6-foot, 220-pound frame and is expected to ultimately be K-State’s top ball-carrier next season. But it is interesting that he is being pushed during spring practices.

Hubert appeared in seven games last season and rushed for 30 yards on 12 carries. He is known as a small, elusive runner, and one of the top high school players (at least statistically) to come out of Texas in 2008. As a senior, he rushed for a whopping 2,853 yards and 41 touchdowns.
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Corey Adams does it again

For the second straight year, Corey Adams won Special Teams MVP honors at Kansas State’s postseason awards ceremony.

The senior long snapper, who was successful on all of his field goal/PAT and punt snaps this season, takes a streak of 475 quality snaps into the Pinstripe Bowl. Those accomplishments were deemed impressive enough by Wildcats coach Bill Snyder that he awarded Adams the program’s top special teams award alongside explosive kick returner William Powell.

Not quite as impressive as 2009, when he beat out speedster Brandon Banks to claim the honor all by himself. But still pretty remarkable.

Some will say Banks and Powell contributed more to K-State with their exciting returns and touchdowns, and I tend to agree. Long snapping is an important, unsung skill, that Snyder cherishes. But returning kicks is an equally important, celebrated skill that everyone appreciates.

In the future, maybe K-State can honor both talents separately by handing out an Unsung Player Award. Just an idea.

In the meantime, K-State’s other big winners were Daniel Thomas (Offensive MVP) and David Garrett and Ty Zimmerman (Defensive MVPs). Below is a complete list of winners.
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Postgame: K-State 49, N. Texas 41

UNTQuarles

FIVE THINGS THAT WENT WELL
1. K-State escaped Denton, Texas with a win. Sure, it was ugly at times, and the Wildcats needed 49 points to hold off a bad Sun Belt team, but a win at this time of year is a win. Let’s all remember that. K-State finished the regular season with a winning record at 7-5 and will head to its first bowl game since 2006. Both positives.

2. Welcome back Daniel Thomas. It’s been a while since we’ve seen you run like that. Not since you started the season with a big, 234-yard day against UCLA have you found space and picked up huge chunks of yards. After three straight games of receiving fewer than 20 carries, K-State finally treated you like a workhorse runner again and you delivered. A whopping 269 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries is the reason K-State defeated North Texas.
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Postgame: CU 44, K-State 36

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THE GOOD
1. Carson Coffman was limited to about 32 minutes of action, but you’d never know it looking at the final stats. The senior quarterback came on in relief of Collin Klein and absolutely torched Colorado’s defense by completing 16 of 23 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. He also scampered in to the end zone from six yards away for a score.

Throughout the second half, he made beautiful passes and continually found Aubrey Quarles and Chris Harper in tight situations near the sidelines. He was on the money all afternoon, and the one time he made a pass and threw into coverage Quarles fought for him and caught a tipped pass. It was the best K-State’s passing game has looked all season.

2. David Garrett continues to standout on a weak defense. On an otherwise awful day, the junior cornerback was everywhere for K-State. He made a whopping 16 tackles (14 solo and two for loss) and broke up a pass.
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Postgame: Missouri 38, K-State 28

Mizzougame

Mistakes doomed the Kansas State football team on Saturday. The Wildcats turned the ball over four times and let a close game slip away from them in the third quarter. Here’s a deeper look:

THE GOOD
1. Collin Klein once again looked fantastic running the ball. The sophomore quarterback came off the bench to lead K-State on three scoring drives and amassed 141 rushing yards on 18 attempts. He also completed four of six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Defenses have yet to figure him out. In the first half he converted a third-and-long near his own end zone by breaking loose for 36 yards on a quarterback draw. Questions remain about his throwing ability, but the bigger question after Saturday’s game was why didn’t he play more?

2. Tre Walker is making a huge impact on K-State’s defense as a freshman. The linebacker led the Wildcats with 12 tackles and also grabbed an interception in the third quarter.
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Collin Klein ready to give passing a try

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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?
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For Daniel Thomas, it’s all about the bowl

DanielThomasVerticalDaniel Thomas is 164 yards away from improving on the 1,265 rushing yards he gained as a junior. With three games remaining in the regular season, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he will shatter that number.

Kansas State’s senior running back is averaging 122.4 yards per game, and if he keeps up that pace he will head to a bowl game with a 1,469-yard season to his name.

For anyone wondering, that would be the most rushing yardage ever produced by a K-State senior (Darren Sproles holds the current record with 1,318) and the second-most in single-season history (Sproles rushed for 1,986 yards in 2003).

Earlier this week, Thomas was asked which of those numbers or records was most meaningful to him. His answer said a lot about him.

“Becoming bowl eligible,” Thomas said, “that’s the most meaningful thing.”
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Postgame: K-State 39, Texas 14

At one point during its 39-14 victory over Texas, Daniel Thomas said one of the Longhorns’ defensive backs began complaining of boredom.

That pretty much sums up what happened Saturday night. The Wildcats ran the ball so effectively and often that Texas cornerbacks and safeties had little to do. The plan caught the Longhorns by surprise and K-State easily picked up its sixth win of the season and became bowl eligible.

Here’s a deeper look:

THE GOOD
1. Collin Klein added a whole new element to K-State’s rushing attack. The sophomore quarterback made the first start of his college career and rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. He made good reads throughout the night, and his speed was a nice complement to Thomas’s bruising running style. Read More »

Snyder still trying to counteract 08 class

On national signing day in 2008, former Kansas State football coach Ron Prince unveiled a recruiting class that included 19 junior college transfers.

It was nicknamed “The JUCO Army.”

The strategy was desperate, and everyone knew it. Prince wanted a group of players that could provide an instant impact to his team, so he gambled and went heavy on transfers.

Media and fans were critical of the decision. They had good reason to be. Three seasons later, Bill Snyder is still trying to find balance in his classes.

“That can’t happen overnight,” Snyder said. Read More »

Postgame: OSU 24, K-State 14

OSUFootballThomas

A week ago, 42 points seemed like all the Kansas State football team would need to defeat Baylor. Yesterday, holding Oklahoma State to 24 points seemed like all the defense it would need to hand the Cowboys a loss.

As it turned out, neither scenario led to a Wildcats win.

One week, the offense is good and the defense is bad. The next week, the offense sputters and the defense delivers. Clearly, K-State needs both to win games. Here’s a deeper look:
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