With John Hubert’s 56 yards against Louisiana Lafayette on Saturday he became just the ninth player in K-State history to top 2,000 yards in his career. With ten games left in the regular season – and we
hope assume a bowl game – can Hubert make it to 3,000 (we won’t entertain the idea of Hubert breaking Darren Sproles’ record of 4,979 yards)?
Hubert barely eclipsed the two century mark, and currently sits at 2,024 yards. That means he has to average just under 100 yards per game the rest of the way to get there by the time Jake Waters is taking a kneel to finish off the victory at KU to conclude the regular season. 97.6 yards per game to be exact. That may be more difficult achieve than seemed back in August.
John Hubert looked to be a strong candidate to bust through the century mark his senior year after coming up just short in 2012 but watching Collin Klein and his rushing yardage of over 900 yards graduate. After gaining just 28 yards as a freshman, Hubert won the starting job over Bryce Brown to the surprise of many and then proved his worth with a 970 yard campaign as a sophomore. Adding the 947 as a junior, and he needed just 1,055 in 2013 to hit 3,000 yards.
That effort seemed to be in the bag – this was John Hubert’s year. The Wildcats would put their success on his shoulders while breaking in a new starting quarterback and defense. Plus the offensive line looked like the best in the league. Few questioned the logic of this belief. Yet through two games Hubert has gained just 79 yards, averaging 40 yards per game. And the lack of production isn’t from want of opportunities – he’s carried 28 times for an average of 2.8 yards. It would take him three more years to hit 3,000 career yards at that pace.
Expect Hubert to bounce back in a big way from the lackluster start he’s seen. If nothing else, simple regression to the mean should dictate some improvement. Additionally, K-State gets its cupcake of the year this weekend when UMass comes to town – the current line is K-State by about 39 points. Any struggles this offensive line previously experienced should be masked against an overmatched Minuteman team.
The Wildcats then travel to Austin, to play a Longhorn team that gave up 550 rushing yards to BYU on Saturday. Should K-State expect to get 550 yards as well? Probably not. But there’s reason to believe Texas is still incapable of tackling, just like last year. Add in the fact that Texas’s secondary looks more potent than the front seven, and Waters may see more bench in favor of Daniel Sams running the option and getting Hubert a nice day. One more comment on the Texas game: the Longhorns host #25 Ole Miss this weekend, and will be devoting the next five days to that game. K-State has already begun looking at ways to exploit Texas while being secure in a victory over UMass. Sean Snyder will find ways to get Hubert active and productive in the game.
The next eight games after Texas will be a slog. That’s how the Big 12 is. Say Hubert gets 125 in each of the next two games, putting him at 2,274 in his career. That puts him at a manageable need of 91 yards per game. Hubert gets that against West Virginia, Kansas, and Iowa State plus some. He probably falls a little short against TCU, Oklahoma State, and Baylor. My fear is that Hubert will slowly become forgotten this year. When Jake Waters is in the game, this team is throwing. When Sams takes over, we see more rushes, but Sams gets half the carries. Hubert is too talented to be held down, but he may fall a bit short in his quest for 3,000 career yards.