Bill Snyder's Wildcats are once again exceeding expectations
By Mitch Light
When Kansas State was trailing Eastern Kentucky, 7â3, late in the fourth quarter back in Week 1, even the most optimistic Wildcat fan would have had a tough time envisioning that this team would be 4â0 and that the K-State offense would be capable of scoring 28 points and 36 points in back-to-back wins over Miami (Fla.) and Baylor.
But that is exactly where the Wildcats find themselves, thanks in large part to the emergence of junior Collin Klein. The dual-threat quarterback has thrown only two interceptions in 85 attempts and is averaging over 100 yards rushing per game. In the 36â35 win over Baylor, Klein threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns and added 113 yards on the ground and another score. Not bad for a guy who was almost moved to wide receiver during spring practice.
The Wildcats are also getting solid production from the tailback position â but the man carrying the load is sophomore John Hubert, not former (over)hyped recruit Bryce Brown. The diminutive Hubert â heâs listed at 5-7, 185 â beat out Brown, a transfer from Tennessee, in preseason camp and has carried the ball 60 times for 343 yards in four games. Brown, meanwhile, has not had a carry since the opener and was not with the team during Saturdayâs win over Baylor.
While Brown has been a bust, his brother, linebacker Arthur Brown â another transfer (from Miami) and former decorated recruit â has been playing extremely well in his first season back in his native Kansas. In the win against Baylor, Brown made three key plays in the fourth quarter, including an interception with the Cats trailing 35â33 with under six minutes remaining.
âHe plays inspired football, and â¦ he has a nose for the football,â says 72-year-old K-State coach Bill Snyder. âHe knows how to find it and goes and gets it.â
Despite its hot start, Kansas State isnât considered by most to be a legitimate threat in the Big 12. On the other hand, the Wildcats appear well on their way to exceeding the expectations placed on them by a certain preseason publication (hint: it starts with Athlon and ends with Sports) that predicted a ninth-place finish in the league.
AROUND THE BIG 12
â¢ Kansas is allowing six touchdowns per game. Oklahoma has given up a total of seven touchdowns for the season.
â¢ Missouri is the only team in the league that has over 1,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing.
â¢ Iowa State is 3â1 despite ranking 118th in the nation in turnover margin (-2.00 per game).
â¢ Texas is now 4â0 all-time in Ames and has averaged 44.3 points in the four wins over the Cyclones.
â¢ Texas A&M has outscored its opponents 115â34 in the first half but has been outscored 59â35 in the second half.
â¢ Texas Tech has won seven straight games dating back to last November. The Red Raiders' last loss came on Nov. 13 at Oklahoma.
â¢ Baylor has scored at least 35 points in all four games this season after hitting that mark only three times all last season. The Bears had not scored 35 or more in four straight games since 1916, when Charles P. Mosleyâs club opened the season with wins of 75â0 over Texas State, 62â0 over SMU, 37â0 over Trinity and 46â0 over Howard Payne.
â¢ Oklahoma and Texas A&M have only allowed two sacks through four games. Kansas State has been sacked the most in the league, 10 times.
â¢ Missouri tailback Henry Josey leads the league in rushes of at least 10 yards (20), 20 yards (seven) and 30 yards (five).