MANHATTAN, Kan. — Daniel Sams began preparing for Kansas State’s Saturday game at Texas by studying box scores. Sams, the Wildcats’ sophomore quarterback, has since watched the Longhorns on video and learned their tendencies with the help of coaches, but he hasn’t forgotten those statistics.
By KELLIS ROBINETT
The Kansas City Star
They will stay in his mind all week.
One stat, in particular, will linger: 259 rushing yards and three touchdowns. That’s what BYU quarterback Taysom Hill, a gifted runner and unproven passer with talents similar to Sams’, was able to produce in 17 carries two weeks ago in a 40-21 victory over Texas.
“When I first saw that, I kind of smiled about it,” Sams said. “But things are going to be a little different when Kansas State and Texas play. It’s a Big 12 matchup. I don’t think they are going to lay down for us. We aren’t going to lay down for them. I’m not going to predict anything, but I’m looking forward to getting out there and playing ball.”
Sams has only been used as a change-of-pace quarterback in relief of starter Jake Waters in K-State’s first three games, but that may change Saturday.
Texas is allowing 353 rushing yards per game and has looked clueless against running quarterbacks. First, Hill carved up its defense as BYU rushed for an astounding 550 yards. Then Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace ran for 57 yards and a touchdown with zone-read plays that also got running back Jeff Scott involved for 164 yards and a score. In all, the Rebels rushed for 272 yards.
If ever there was a time for K-State coach Bill Snyder to increase Sams’ workload, or promote him to starter, this is it.
“I think anybody right now will try to run the ball against us,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “We haven’t stopped it yet. We feel like we will see a very similar game plan to what we have seen the last two weeks.”
So far, Sams has rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns in 21 carries. He hasn’t been used much in the passing game, completing three of four passes for 27 yards. By comparison, Waters has thrown for 673 yards and four touchdowns.
Snyder admits the idea of emulating BYU and Miss is tempting, so Sams could be the main contributor in K-State’s two-quarterback system. But Snyder also worries that strategy may be too predictable.
“You look at that and say, ‘OK, we’ve got quarterbacks who run the football.’ So you think that is what we should do,” Snyder said. “I can assure you they are smart enough at the University of Texas to understand they have had some difficulty there. I would expect to see some changes there in approaching the quarterback run game. They will defend that part of it well.…
“Daniel will certainly play. That is quite obvious.
“As I’ve said, it hasn’t changed week in and week out. There are certain things that you would like to be able to do. You have kind of a plan in place, but that will be dictated by the University of Texas as much as anything.”
Still, it’s hard to imagine Snyder standing pat with his two quarterbacks. Remember, he gave former quarterback Collin Klein his first start against Texas in 2010. The plan worked so well that K-State ran the ball on all but four plays. The Longhorns couldn’t stop Klein, and the Wildcats ran for 261 yards in an easy win.
To reach Kellis Robinett, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/KellisRobinett.