Spring football practice has come to an end for Big 12 schools, most all culminating in a spring game-like scrimmage from which we are able to get a vanilla-colored glimpse at what the teams might look like when the games start for real in the fall.
Kansas State started its spring practice schedule later than everyone else, and was the last to wrap things up, at least so far as organized activities, holding its annual Purple-White Spring Game this past Saturday. There are some question marks surrounding the Wildcats for 2013, especially with Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein and Arthur Brown, the anchor in the K-State defense the past couple of seasons completing their c0llegiate careers and moving on the the NFL.
The Purple team, comprised of the first-team offense and the first-team defense, dominated the game against the White squad, made up of second-team-and-below players on the depth chart. Because of the way the game was formatted, however, the White team prevailed on the scoreboard, 41-38. The Purple team was up by a score of 38-0 at halftime, when the score was reversed in favor of Purple. The Purple squad put up another 38 points in the second half but, with a field goal, the White team was able to pull off the victory.
Even with the departure of Klein and senior John Hubert, the Wildcats’ leading rusher a year ago with 947 net yards, not playing in the spring game, there didn’t appear to be much, if any, drop off in offensive weaponry from last season. Junior-college transfer Jake Waters and sophomore Daniel Sams are the lead candidates to replace Klein, and both shared the quarterback duties, splitting time between the two squads in the opening half of the spring game and then trading off possessions with the Purple team in the second half. Combined, Waters and Sams accounted for 699 yards of total offense.
Both quarterbacks had very productive afternoons on Saturday. Waters completed 14 of 18 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns, while Sams was good on 18 of 28 throwing the football for 391 yards and four touchdowns. Three wide receivers exceeded 100 receiving yards in the game, led by junior speed demon Tylder Lockett, who hauled in nine passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Seniors Tramaine Thompson and Torell Miller also were over 100 yards receiving.
Speaking to the media after the spring game about the quarterback play, head coach Bill Snyder said: “I saw very positive things from both of them (Waters and Sams). I thought we have a little bit of athletic ability, (but) I think you knew that all along. I thought we threw the ball with more consistency than we have during the course of the spring, but it was pretty basic as far as the defense is concerned.”
Regarding the defense: “It is obvious that our twos cannot play as well as our ones, and we had some problems with both,” Snyder said. The Purple team only gave up a field goal, he noted. “That is not a bad day of work no matter who you line up to play against,” he said.