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Coffman expects both K-State QBs to play

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010, at 12:05 a.m.

Much as he has all season, senior quarterback Carson Coffman was asked Tuesday if he expects to start Kansas State's Pinstripe Bowl game against Syracuse on Thursday.

His answer: Yes. But it came with a disclaimer.

"I think I'm going to start," he said, "but really I don't know."

Coffman opened the year as the Wildcats' starting quarterback, and held the position through eight games. But when he injured his ankle late against Oklahoma State, coaches saw sophomore Collin Klein and his mobility as a better choice against Texas.

K-State routed the Longhorns 39-14, and both quarterbacks have seen time since. Klein started against Colorado. Coffman started against Missouri and North Texas.

"Both of us are going into the bowl game prepared and ready," Coffman said. "I'm sure we'll both get to play."

Coffman is the better passer of the two, and finished the regular season with 1,832 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. Klein is the better runner, and rushed for 430 yards and six touchdowns on 75 attempts.

The Orange are strong against both the run and pass, and allow 295 total yards of offense per game.

Coffman says he has not enjoyed sharing playing time, but after losing the starting job altogether last season to Grant Gregory, Coffman has learned to put the team first.

"Collin brings a lot to the table," Coffman said. "Whatever the coaches think is going to help us win the game, I'm all for it."

Trick plays on the way — Expect K-State to open up its offensive playbook against Syracuse. The Wildcats have had plenty of time to come up with new, creative plays.

"We've had a lot of trick plays and stuff that we've been saving and haven't used during the season," Coffman said. "We've got some new stuff we will probably break out in the game, too."

Shot at redemption — Emmanuel Lamur looks at the Pinstripe Bowl as an opportunity to prove K-State's defense isn't as poor as the numbers indicate.

Despite allowing 441.3 yards and a Big 12-worst 229.1 rushing yards per game, the junior safety thinks the Wildcats have what it takes to contain Syracuse.

"We had a lot of time off, a bunch of time to fix our errors," Lamur said. "We feel confident about what we've done, and we're looking forward to playing Syracuse. We're anxious to take the field."

Sights, sounds of New York — So far, K-State has toured the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, the New York Stock Exchange and Yankee Stadium.

"It's a business trip, but when we have free time we're going to live it up," lineman Zach Kendall said. "We're having a good time."

Yankee workout — Yankee Stadium isn't accustomed to digging out for anything. The ballpark in the Bronx is usually dormant this time of year. The grounds crew is getting a crash course in snow removal this week.

About 400 people have been working around the clock since a brutal storm dumped about two feet of snow on the New York area over the weekend. The workers are trying feverishly to get the stadium ready, clearing the field, plazas, concourses and enough seating for about 48,000 fans.

"We had the field covered up and we're getting it plowed, and the field looks great," Yankees president Randy Levine said Tuesday. "They've been working all night and really there's no issues whatsoever. It'll be ready for the game."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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