Kansas State opened with a fun game at Stanford. Then it took a week off. Then it throttled Florida Atlantic at home. Now it’s about to do the same to Missouri State.
Big 12 games can’t get here soon enough.
With that in mind, let’s look ahead in this week’s K-State Q&A. Thanks, as always, for supplying the questions.
Offensive coordinator is a thankless job. You need not look further than K-State’s 63-7 victory over Florida Atlantic for proof.
Dana Dimel called a series of successful fullback runs at the goal line (plays so effective that K-State scored four touchdowns in just five attempts) and some criticized him for it. Has that ever happened to another offensive coordinator?
I understand why some chuckle when Winston Dimel gets the ball in the red zone. It’s obvious dad likes watching his son score. But it’s also obvious Winston Dimel is a gifted power runner and a noticeable upgrade over Charles Jones in the wildcat formation. It’s not like Winston Dimel needed 20 carries to score four touchdowns against Florida Atlantic, with K-State repeatedly feeding him the ball from the one until he finally got in. He scored four touchdowns on five carries, crossing the goal line on runs of 10 and seven yards.
K-State used Glenn Gronkowski (to a lesser degree) in similar situations and everyone loved it.
Should Winston Dimel get the call every time K-State is in the red zone? Of course not. He didn’t against Florida Atlantic, and he won’t as the season progresses. But he may legitimately be K-State’s best short-yardage runner. Nepotism aside, he deserves to get scoring looks as long as he remains this effective.
I will put the odds at 51 percent.
Dimel has a three-touchdown lead on Jesse Ertz, Alex Delton and Joe Hubener, and a four-touchdown lead on the rest of the team. If he has another big day at the goal line against Missouri State, which is very possible, he might hold on.
Still, keep an eye on Ertz. K-State typically likes QB runs near the goal line, and Hubener led the team with 13 rushing touchdowns last season. I’ve got a feeling Ertz will get lots of looks in Big 12 play.
In my mind, there are only two things that could make Bill Snyder want to retire at the end of this season.
1. K-State athletic director John Currie agrees to promote Sean Snyder to head coach.
2. The Wildcats finish with a losing record and Bill Snyder thinks he’s holding the program back.
Neither scenario seems likely at the moment. I think a much-improved year increases the odds Snyder keeps going. The Wildcats will return the vast majority of their offense next season (Deante Burton, Charles Jones and Terrale Johnson are the only seniors currently in the starting lineup) and Snyder typically does his best work with an experienced offense. K-State could be one of the Big 12’s best teams next year. Doubt Snyder walks away from an opportunity to coach that team.
It really depends on K-State’s field position. A week ago, the Wildcats forced four turnovers and handed the ball to the offense at the goal line throughout the first half. So K-State ran the ball into the end zone, scoring the first play of drives on three separate occassions. If that happens again, it will keep running. If Missouri State makes K-State go 80 yards for touchdowns, Jesse Ertz will pass.
I would like to see Ertz throw more in this game, and I think it would help him. He took a nice step forward against Florida Atlantic, completing 8 of 13 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, but he’s got plenty of room to develop. And he’s still only connected with Byron Pringle once.
There’s also the score to consider. If K-State takes a big lead, Snyder will want to run and he will want to play Delton and Hubener. So if you want to see passing, watch the first half.
I will give a slight edge to Corey Sutton.
Though Isaiah Harris looked good catching six passes for 46 yards last week, all his work came with the backups. Sutton caught a pass against Stanford and will see more work with the starters on spread formations. Both players are off to promising starts, though.
Definitely surprised. Though I had heard good things about Harris, he seemed too low on the depth chart to merit playing. With him in the mix, the Wildcats are committed to playing seven receivers.
It’s an unusual move for Bill Snyder, but I like it. If a player is ready to contribute, get him on the field and let him contribute. Redshirting isn’t for everybody. Also, Harris looks good.
Dalvin Warmack will get his usual two-to-eight touches against Missouri State and then call it a day.
I have no idea what K-State wants to do with its committee of running backs in the Big 12 games, but here’s guessing it uses Charles Jones as the starter and Warmack as the change-of-pace back, capable of getting the ball 10 times.
It’s reasonable to assume John Currie will leave K-State at some point. When? I have no idea.
Though reports of him heading to Florida this week to discuss the Gators’ athletic director opening were false, sources told me was a candidate for the position. Florida considered him, but decided to go in another direction. Currie’s name pops up for a lot of openings. When Southern California was looking for an AD, for example, a source told me the Trojans reached out to Currie and conducted a phone interview before targeting other candidates.
What will it take for a more prominent school to make a serious run at hiring him? Not sure. Maybe a splashy coaching hire. Maybe something else.
Then again, Currie likes it in Manhattan. He listens when other schools call, but he’s not actively looking to leave.
Careful what you wish for when trying to create new traditions ...
Anything is possible. It’s not like these teams refuse to schedule old conference rivals. Nebraska has future games set up against Colorado and Oklahoma. K-State has also agreed to a home-and-home series with Colorado.
But I don’t see it happening anytime soon. K-State and Nebraska have talked about playing each other, and nothing has ever materialized.
K-State needs a power-conference opponent in 2022 and 2023, but not again until 2030.
If you want to see the Wildcats and Huskers play again, you’re better off hoping for them to meet in a bowl game.
Well, it was still a sellout. And the crowd of 50,871 seemed loud and into it throughout the first half. Without the help of Fort Riley Day or Band Day or visiting fans filling up the stadium, maybe it was unrealistic to expect 52,000 or 53,000 against a ho-hum opponent. I dunno. That’s a small difference. The place seemed just as full at kickoff. The crowd was technically over capacity.
If anything hurts crowds this season, I imagine it is the home schedule of six games instead of the usual seven. Maybe that impacted season-ticket sales. But K-State should still sellout every game. And I expect slightly larger crowds during conference games.
Yes. A 3-1 start with a road victory against West Virginia and a competitve loss against Stanford would qualify as a top 25 resume.
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett