It’s time for another K-State Q&A. Hope you are as excited about it as I am.
We’ve got lots of great questions on tap, so let’s get right to them. Thanks, as always, for asking.
Jesse Ertz says his arm is stronger now than it was before he had surgery in the offseason. Bill Snyder says Ertz is throwing the ball better than he ever has. Teammates say Ertz is dropping passes in places that defenders have no shot to stop.
All signs point to a very healthy quarterback.
The biggest change I anticipate now that Dana Dimel is K-State’s lone offensive coordinator is speed. He had the final say on calls last season, but there were times he asked for Del Miller’s input before making a final decision. That was at least a contributing factor when the Wildcats flirted with delay-of-game penalties. This season, Dimel should be able to get his calls in more quickly, potentially eliminating so many wasted timeouts with the play clock winding down.
Jesse Ertz will definitely benefit from having Collin Klein as his position coach. Not only does he return with a year of starting experience under his belt, he will be mentored by a former quarterback with multiple years of starting experience under his belt.
False: I expect Carlos Strickland to be a good, solid addition to K-State’s receiving corps. But “shine” is too strong of a word for me. It took Byron Pringle until the bitter end of last season to truly “shine” in the Wildcats’ passing game. Here’s guessing Strickland will face a similar learning curve while playing in live games for the first time since high school.
True: In terms of depth, K-State has an impressive group of running backs.
False: That is, if you are only talking about the 12-game regular season. My conservative guess at K-State’s record is 9-3, but it would obviously have a shot at 10 wins if you add in the bowl game.
It’s certainly possible, but I have my doubts. At K-State’s media day last week, Walker said he was mostly working behind Kendall Adams with the backups in practice. Denzel Goolsby was getting most of the first-team reps opposite Adams. There’s plenty of time for that to change, obviously, and we will get a glimpse of where things stand at Fan Appreciation Day this weekend. But it sounds like he is playing catch up.
Linebackers coach Blake Seiler said he was coming along nicely when I asked about Elijah Sullivan for a story about the position earlier this week, so he could factor into the equation. I’ve heard good things about him for a while now. But I see him more as a backup this season. He’s certainly not a favorite to start.
The Sunflower State would be well-represented.
Bill Snyder and Bill Self are obvious choices. It gets a little harder after that. Without Bob Stoops, is there another deserving football coach? Maybe Mike Gundy. Possibly Gary Patterson. There are no other real candidates. Switch to basketball and you could make a case for Lon Kruger and Bob Huggins. There are some great coaches on the women’s side, including Kim Mulkey. This question would be easier to answer if you include former Big 12 coaches.
But of the active ones, I would go with Snyder, Self, Mulkey and Kruger.
“Miracle in Manhattan” was very well done, and could pass for a 30 for 30 documentary on ESPN, no doubt.
Other college topics I would like to see explored: Conference realignment, Mike Leach’s rise and fall at Texas Tech, the old Southwest Conference, the Baylor scandal, Barry Switzer, Tommie Frazier and some type of made-for-TV fight between every mascot from a Power 5 school.
I hate to admit this, but if I’m in a casino you will probably find me at the slot machines. My favorite two games used to be Blackjack and Craps, but that was when I was young and didn’t have much experience losing money at those games. I will still play some Blackjack if the betting limit is reasonable, but the swings in Craps can be a bit much. There’s nothing worse than blowing through cash at a table before you can even order a drink. That’s never a problem over at the penny slots.
I’m probably not the best person to ask, as I tend to enjoy my beer on the back deck more than I do at a bar. My trips to Aggieville are usually food-centric, which might actually apply here if it’s your first stop. My favorites are So Long, Taco Lucha and Coco Bolo’s. Wahoo Fire and Ice Grill, Rock-A Belly and Tanner’s are good, too. There’s really no wrong answer here.
Twix ice cream bar, followed closely by Snickers and whatever you call the vanilla thing that comes in a cone and is topped with chocolate.
Trent Tanking is the obvious choice to lead K-State in tackles, as he projects to be the team’s top linebacker. It’s not hard at all to see him end up with 80 or 90 tackles this year. But it’s not a foregone conclusion he leads the way. D.J. Reed piled up 75 tackles last year at corner and Kendall Adams had 62 tackles at safety. They could challenge him, if opposing teams run enough plays their way.
Jesse Ertz across the board. I will be shocked if he doesn’t lead the team in carries and yards. His 183 carries were 68 more than Charles Jones a year ago. And his 1,012 yards were nearly double the closest running back. I will be mildly surprised if he doesn’t also lead the team in rushing touchdowns. But Winston Dimel could challenge him in that department.
Probably 610 AM. It’s a sports station with a strong signal, particularly at night, and it seems like a decent radio home for the Wildcats. Royals games will occasionally overlap with college football, but I don’t see that being a major obstacle. That would be my guess, anyway. Last time I asked about this topic, I was told K-State was still debating all possibilities. The Wildcats are still weighing their options.
Quarterback keeper. Jesse Ertz runs to his left, following lead blockers Alex Barnes and Winston Dimel. Gain of eight yards.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett