Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State's Quarterbacks Throw Four Touchdowns, No Interceptions

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You read the headline right – Jake Waters and Daniel Sams combined to manage an entire game without throwing an interception. Is the title facetious? A bit, but it’s all in good fun – last week I posted an article predicting Sams would be highly successful throwing the ball against West Virginia. I just didn’t realize how good he and Waters would be. Here

  • Sams was perfect on the day, finishing 8/8 for 93 yards, averaging 11.6 yards/pass. He also found Tyler Lockett in the back of the end zone for a beautiful touchdown grab.
  • Waters completed 10/13 for the best performance I’ve seen out of him this year – although he still has a tendency to put his passes a little higher than they should be. Still, this number would have been higher but for a couple of pass deflections. One was on a screen that Waters probably should have seen the defender breaking between the receiver and the ball – that’s the sort of thing that causes pick-sixes. He also had a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage that even Aaron Rodgers couldn’t have avoided.
  • Waters finished with 198 yards passing for an average of 15.2 with three touchdowns.
  • The combined stat line was 18/21 for 291 yards and four touchdowns. And no interceptions.

Writing about what I anticipated from Sams last week, I expected the team to avoid interceptions because it would be playing with a lead in the fourth quarter. One trend that’s become apparent is interceptions are happening in the fourth quarter. Granted, dumb turnovers still came early in the game (both quarterbacks had fumbles throughout the game, as holding onto the ball remains an issue. I believe Waters lost two, while Sams lost one and had another one recovered on a bad snap). However, the concern over interceptions appears to crop up when the quarterbacks are tired and putting too much pressure on themselves.

K-State was clinging to a 14-12 lead entering the fourth quarter and had just received a West Virginia punt, but the defense was also struggling to contain the Mountaineers. Daniel Sams and John Hubert had a difficult time moving the ball on the ground, but Waters was twice brought in to pick up third downs through the air. He stayed in after picking up the second one, and on the next play he found Tramaine Thompson for a 30-yard touchdown strike.

Waters was on fire from then on out, and picked up a lot of his stats in the final period. Ty Zimmerman forced a fumble to give K-State the ball back with a 21-12 lead. The Wildcats kept passing, but Waters was in a position he’s yet to enjoy in the Big 12 – a double digit lead in the fourth quarter. Safe in this knowledge, he was throwing good passes as the trio of Lockett, Thompson, and Curry Sexton seemed to pull down everything thrown their direction.

Hopefully K-State doesn’t have to build double-digit leads before the quarterback play becomes more consistent – getting to a bowl game is going to require someone to engineer a fourth quarter comeback at some point after the team has squandered multiple fourth quarter leads. But part of the issue is mental too. And if Sams/Waters duo has finally developed some confidence, a 3-2 finish to at least end the season bowl eligible is looking more and more inevitable.

 

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Tags: Daniel Sams Football Jake Waters West Virginia

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