Dylan Schellenberg, trying to help keep TCU out of the end zone
The Wildcats are playing like one of the most confident teams in the country, having blown out three of their past four opponents including Texas Tech – a ranked squad many believed K-State would have trouble with. However, it’s clear no one wants to play this this team; the defense has developed into a ferocious, quarterback-eating machine, the run chews up clock and yards, and the wide receivers are finding ways to get wide open. The only concern going into this game is the loss of All-American Ty Zimmerman, who suffered a leg injury during last week’s victory. Solve that piece of the puzzle, and excellent bowl positioning awaits.
Question: which team am I referring to? The current crop of Wildcats that stand to finish in fourth place in the Big 12 if they defeat Oklahoma this weekend, ending on a six-game win streak? Or the the 2012 that rode into Waco with a #1 ranking in the BCS, but fell horribly to Baylor. Trick answer: both.
Dylan Schellenberg is in a tremendously pressure-packed situation today. It doesn’t matter how well he plays – if K-State loses, unless he comes home with two interceptions and eight tackles to his name, the only topic of conversation will be “what would have happened if we had Zimmerman instead of that Dylan kid?” It doesn’t matter if it’s fair, that’s how it works.
The primary concern is that Oklahoma will feature backup Trevor Knight. Yes, it does concern me that a backup is playing. Blake Bell is one big boy – he can sling the ball and is great pushing the line forward to get a couple yards in short yardage situations. But he’s a traditional quarterback, and that’s the type of offense K-State is built to beat. It’s not built to beat teams that spread the field and attack with speed. That’s how you get a blow out win against Texas while struggling against Baylor and Oregon in 2012. Knight isn’t a great passer, but uses his legs well. Short yardage passes, screens, and the threat to scramble. That’s the last thing K-State needs to face sans an All-American safety.
I believe K-State will win this game. So does Vegas. But this has the makings of a trap game to derail all the positive momentum Bill Snyder’s squad has been building. Be safe out there, Wildcats.