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Glancing at the Kansas State offense ahead of this weekend's matchup against Kansas
When you watch Kansas State the offensive attack seems to fly in the face of everything that college football has become. Oddly enough Bill Snyder is credited with some of the gimmick offenses like the wildcat, but he has essentially avoided the spread offense craze entirely. That has led some to view his offensive gameplan as boring, but honestly if you like a well prepared, well executed football game, Kansas State can be fun and rather enjoyable to watch. That doesn't bode well for Kansas unfortunately. The Jayhawks have improved defensively, but Kansas State rarely wastes a play. Every single time they snap the ball it seems as though it has a purpose, a very defined purpose and they usually execute. That could make for an interesting Saturday in Manhattan for Dave Campo and the Kansas defense.
QB 7 Collin Klein (6-5, 226, Sr.-3L)
It starts and ends with Collin Klein and no matter how many times people want to doubt his ability in one area or another, he delivers. Klein is one of the toughest quarterbacks in the country, he's constantly getting extra yardage and he's proving more and more that he can throw the ball fairly effectively. On the season Klein averages 4.6 per carry and just over 70 yards per game. In the passing game Klein is converting at a 70% completion rate and boasts a 165 point quarterback efficiency rating. Not bad for a guy who wasn't supposed to be able to pass, especially when you compare that to Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist who is supposed to be able to pass.
RB 33 John Hubert (5-7, 191, Jr.-2L)
FB 37 Braden Wilson (6-4, 256, Sr.-3L)
Hubert is 2nd in the Big 12 in rushing yardage and he leads the Wildcats at over 100 yards per contest. He has been one of the best backs in the Big 12 since the latter part of the 2011 season and he is a huge piece to the Wildcat puzzle. His ability helps make things a little easier on Collin Klein and eases the burden on the senior quarterback in the running game while opening up the passing game more. WIlson is a bruising blocking back and he'll give Hubert that extra block needed to make a play go for a little extra yardage or maybe a whole lot more.
TE 80 Travis Tannahill (6-3, 253, Sr.-3L)
Tannahill is a great Bill Snyder type player. He has decent size but he does everything well at a very important position. If you remember back to Snyder's days at Iowa he was always fond of the tight end position, at least he always used them effectively. Kansas State does that with Tannahill. He's a key piece in the running game as a very capable blocker. Tannahill also has the ability to get open as a safety net and create a nice big target in the passing game. This is what you want in a tight end.
WR 16 Tyler Lockett (5-11, 175, So.-1L)
WR 86 Tramaine Thompson (5-8, 167, Jr.-2L)
WR 3 Chris Harper (6-1, 234, Sr.-2L)
Harper is your converted quarterback turned physical wideout. Lockett is the young up and comer with K-State pedigree and a crafty elusiveness. Thompson is an upperclassman that is emerging as the top target for Klein in the passing game. This is a solid group and they do the little things well while still having the ability to surprise you and make a big play if you sleep on them.
LT 78 Cornelius Lucas (6-9, 324, Jr.-2L)
LG 55 Cody Whitehair (6-3, 300, Fr.-RS)
C 66 B.J. Finney (6-4, 303, So.-1L)
RG 79 Keenan Taylor (6-1, 290, Jr.-2L)
RT 73 Tavon Rooks (6-5, 272, Jr.-TR)
This is a young group with little experience and that's a big reason that some had predicted a potential drop off for Kansas State this year. Finney is the only player that entered the year with starting experience and he's a walk on turned starter. Lucas, Whitehair, Taylor and Rooks are all new to this unit and for whatever reason the Wildcats haven't missed a beat. It's one of the impressive things about the program and one of the frustrating things about the state of the Kansas program.
This is a deliberate and efficient unit for Kansas State. The skilled positions are all back from a year ago and that was considered a strength. The questions entering the season surrounded the offensive line but those have been answered and Bill Snyder is able to do what he wants to do offensively. That might mean scoring in bunches, it might mean chewing up the clock, either way he can do it. Against Kansas I think we all know what the goal will be and the Jayhawk defense will be tested.