As Wildcat nation surveys the wreckage of last night’s 31-21 loss to Texas and continues second-guessing the coaching choices during the game, one thing proved true: The Jug knew exactly what to watch last night. Here are our five things we said to keep an eye on, and what happened.
1. Playing Time For Quarterbacks: Jake Waters started the game, but Daniel Sams split much of the first half with Waters under extremely predictable circumstances (they would sub in for each other whether third down could be picked up with a short rush or needed a longer pass). Their usage was by far the most questionable aspect of the entire game, though Waters started the second half and played the rest of the way with the Wildcats attempting to overcome a 17-7 deficit. I hear that Sams can pass. He actually did it during the Spring Game. He’s yet to show it in a game. Until this happens, don’t expect much deviation from last night’s results.
2. Who Ends The Game Playing Cornerback: Morgan Burns did not make the appearance I expected, but Dorrian Roberts struggled again last night. He allowed an early touchdown when he was simply torched – Roberts played the receiver correctly, he just didn’t have the speed to make a play. After getting burned, he allowed a large cushion the rest of the night in a once-bitten twice-shy reaction and didn’t allow any more huge passes, but several shorter ones. However, it looks like the coaching staff has no interest in making a change.
3. Early Pressure On David Ash: Ash missed the previous week with a concussion and missed some practice time on Monday and Tuesday as well. Nothing dirty, but K-State got good pressure on him and Ash took more than one hit in the first half (although K-State only managed one sack on the night). He did not return for the second half and Case McCoy finished the game after Ash’s concussion symptoms returned.
4. Player Enthusiasm: Tre Walker led the team onto the field pumped up and ready for a win. The eagerness to play that was previously missing was there tonight. The players never gave up, and K-State almost managed a comeback win. One player who didn’t look enthused: Daniel Sams when he was on the sidelines. He’s not being utilized properly, and probably feels he’s not getting a fair shake. You can tell it’s killing him, watching and not playing. With John Hubert still halfway in the dog house, it may be time to have Waters handing off to Sams in the backfield if Jake is going stay the starting quarterback.
5. The Streak Lives: I was convinced K-State would make it six straight. It didn’t happen. The Wildcats will beat the Longhorns twice on the basketball court again this year, and start a new streak in 2014.