Trevor Knight transferred away from Oklahoma and the Big 12 as a junior last season, but he will still get one more clash with Kansas State.
The senior Texas A&M quarterback will face the Wildcats for the fourth consecutive year on Dec. 28 at the Texas Bowl.
“We understand what his capabilities are, and that is a little scary in its own right,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “He is a talented, talented player. And, I like him, but I think that he is a great person — a good, good individual. He brings that balance to that offense. He can run it and he can do all of the things that you know he can do, and he does them well.”
The matchup creates mixed emotions within Snyder for obvious reasons.
On one hand, K-State has already gone against Knight twice as Oklahoma’s starter and once as its backup. They have seen him in action, and they face similar dual-threat quarterbacks all the time in the Big 12.
On the other hand, K-State had trouble defending Knight when he was a freshman in Manhattan and the following year in Norman.
Knight led Oklahoma to a 41-30 victory at Snyder Family Stadium as an unheralded freshman in 2013 by completing 14 of 20 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown on top of 82 yards and a touchdown rushing. When he wasn’t beating K-State’s defense with his arm, he was weaving between tacklers on zone-read keepers.
K-State edged Oklahoma 31-30 on the road the following year, but Knight missed part of that game with an injury. When he was on the field, he completed 26 of 32 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns.
Last year, he lost his starting job to Baker Mayfield and decided to leave for Texas A&M, where he was eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer. But he still helped the Sooners put the finishing touches on a 55-0 victory over K-State.
“He is a talented quarterback,” senior K-State safety Dante Barnett said. “He is almost like Jesse (Ertz) in that his speed can be deceiving at times. He loves the zone read and can keep it for his team and make big plays, but he is also not afraid to throw the deep ball down to some of his talented wide receivers.”
Still, Barnett is glad K-State’s defense will face a familiar quarterback in its bowl game.
“We have played against him before and multiple dual-threat quarterbacks,” Barnett said. “We know what to do.”
Knight provided Texas A&M with an offensive spark when it needed one this season. He stepped in immediately at quarterback and led the Aggies to a 7-1 start, at which point they were ranked fourth in the playoff rankings.
But then he injured his throwing shoulder against Mississippi State on Nov. 5 and things fell apart. Texas A&M finished the season 1-3.
It was originally thought Knight would miss the remainder of the season, but he recovered in time to play against LSU in the regular-season finale. His status was thought to be in doubt for the Texas Bowl, but he told reporters this week he will “absolutely” play in the game.
A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said this week Knight has been “practicing and looking good.”
Knight will be a challenge for the Wildcats if he is able to play at full strength.
They know that much from experience.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett