Campus Corner

Kansas State Q&A: Charles Jones, DeMarcus Robinson, Trevor Knight, Oklahoma and Terrance Gore vs. Tyler Lockett

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Sorry for missing the last two weeks while I focused on being a father. I’m not expecting another addition to the family anytime soon, so we should be good to guy for quite a while. Let’s dive right into your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

Thank you! He’s a true blessing.

To your question, I think Charles Jones has played at a higher level than DeMarcus Robinson, but I don’t think K-State is going to breakup its RBBC (running back by committee) anytime soon. Charles Jones has more carries (57), yards (293) and touchdowns (8), but Robinson is the listed starter. He is also better on passing downs than Jones. And Bill Snyder said this week he wants to see more big plays from K-State’s running game. That could favor Robinson, who broke free for a 40-yard touchdown against UTEP. Jones and Robinson are good at different things, so K-State will likely stick with its RBBC.

This is among the best questions I have ever received for K-State Q&A.

I’m not sure I’m equipped to answer it. They say Terrance Gore is the fastest man in baseball and he steals bases with ease for the Royals. But Tyler Lockett regularly beats defensive backs deep and always out runs defenders on kick returns. It would be a fun race to watch.

Someone should make it happen.

Wild card is a great way to describe Trevor Knight, whom I wrote about this morning. He simply hasn’t lived up to the expectations that he set for himself beating K-State and Alabama last year, forcing Blake Bell to move to tight end. He is only completing 55 percent of his passes, and Oklahoma coaches seem terrified to let him run without any proven quarterback depth behind him. It’s crazy to think he has a 10-1 record as a starter, yet some are giving up on him.

If the Sooners continue using Knight the way they have, as a pocket passer that hands the ball to Samaje Perine then K-State should be able to pressure him and have success. If he runs a lot of zone-read plays the way he did last year in his coming out party against K-State, the Wildcats face a much tougher defensive test. The pressure is on Knight to turn things around, but K-State’s front four would like nothing more than to get some revenge on the quarterback that beat them a year ago. It will be a fascinating matchup.

I wouldn’t bet on it. The schedule is simply too difficult. Even if the Wildcats become the sixth team to beat Bob Stoops in Norman on Saturday, they still have to go to TCU, West Virginia and Baylor. I expect K-State to win two of those games, and give it a good chance to win three of them. But all four? No team has gone undefeated in the Big 12 since it switched to the current round-robin format. I don’t see anyone going unscathed this year.

Bill Snyder hasn’t issued a definitive status update on Travis Green, but I don’t expect him to play anytime soon. Last week, he wrote on Twitter that he needed an arthroscopic procedure to properly diagnose the ailment in his right leg. He can safely be ruled out in the short term.

Oklahoma has the nation’s 25th ranked run defense, allowing 116 yards on the ground each game. So running on the Sooners won’t be easy. Given how committed K-State has been to the run, especially with Jake Waters, I think the Wildcats will find a way to do it. They will need to if they want to win. Last year’s 41-31 loss to Oklahoma proved how important the running game is against the Sooners. Waters found Lockett for 278 yards and three touchdowns, but John Hubert could do nothing on the ground, rushing for 17 yards on nine carries. K-State had a one-dimensional offense that day, and Oklahoma took advantage.

I expected K-State to be ranked at the bottom of the preseason poll, so 28th feels about right. It will have plenty of opportunities to move up the rankings by the time January rolls around.

The Wildcats have the talent to do exactly that, but Bruce Weber must find the perfect lineups that utilize all the new faces. While that’s a good problem to have, it isn’t always easy. The schedule is also very difficult with trips to Tennessee and the Maui Invitational, on top of games against Texas A&M and Georgia.

If K-State hits a stride in Decemeber the way it did a year ago I would expect to see it ranked anywhere from 20-25 on New Year’s Day.

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.

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