K-Stated

Kansas State Q&A: Emergency quarterbacks, Justin Silmon, Andre Davis and Louisiana Tech

K-State coach Bill Snyder watches his four quarterbacks at Snyder Family Stadium.
K-State coach Bill Snyder watches his four quarterbacks at Snyder Family Stadium. The Wichita Eagle

Need something to help you forget that Chiefs game last night?

Well, this might not be the best place for you. Two readers found a way to work it into their questions in this week’s K-State Q&A.

Speaking of questions, let’s jump right into them. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

I would like to say the percentage is high, because I think Justin Silmon is the best running back on the team. But I think Charles Jones remains the main guy this week. Bill Snyder doesn’t seem overly concerned by his lack of rushing production. As long as he continues blocking well and understanding the plays, he will stay on top this week. Besides, I’m sure Snyder doesn’t want to give future Big 12 opponents a long look at Silmon just yet.

It would not surprise me if Silmon takes over in two weeks at Oklahoma State in an attempt to catch the Cowboys off guard. With each week that passes, his percentage goes up. Jones doesn’t have enough upside to stay on top forever. Snyder said Tuesday that Silmon is coming along in terms of playbook knowledge and blocking. It’s only a matter of time.

Some but certainly not all. Scoff at Texas-San Antonio all you want, but the Roadrunners lit up No. 22 Arizona on the road for 525 yards and 32 points. Then they turned around and managed 229 yards and three points against K-State at home. So, K-State’s defense certainly did something right last week. South Dakota is nothing fancy, but a shutout is a shutout.

I think it’s safe to label K-State’s defense good. The front four can stuff the run and the corners have experience. But we won’t know if it is great until it takes on Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor. Louisiana Tech should be a telling opponent, too.

The depth chart at quarterback currently has Joe Hubener on top, Jonathan Banks second and ... uh ... that’s a great question.

There are more quaterbacks listed on the roster. They are: Zach Davidson, a redshirt freshman from Harrisonville, Mo., Landon Root, a redshirt freshman from Wichita, and Hunter Hall, a freshman from Clearwater. Root was at Northern Illinois last season, so he can’t play until next year. I guess Davidson and Hall would flip a coin on the sideline for third-string duties.

I would rather not speculate on how long Alex Delton will be out. Typically it takes 4-6 weeks to recover from a meniscus injury, but I have heard recovery times ranging from as quick as two weeks to as long as six weeks and beyond. Everyone responds to knee injuries differently, so it’s impossible to say right now. But he is out for the short term, which means K-State would, indeed, need an emergency quarterback if Hubener and Banks both suffered injury. Let’s call that the doomsday scenario.

As mentioned above, Davidson and Hall would be candidates to play. But at that point, maybe K-State tries something else. Charles Jones running the wildcat formation as the regular offense? Kody Cook, a former quarterback, taking snaps? Kyle Klein dabbled as a quarterback at high school, so maybe him?

Yikes, those are some scary possibilities. Maybe it would be easier for Hubener to undergo the same adamantium procedure that made Wolverine indestructable.

Probably not. K-State would have to jump six teams and hold off dozens of competitors to crack the Top 25. I don’t see a victory over Louisiana Tech, regardless of margin, being enough to move the needle with national voters. A 4-0 start, including a win at Oklahoma State, would probably get the Wildcats in, though.

Andre Davis was impressive against UTSA, hauling in four passes for 73 yard, including a 36-yard gain. Maybe he is the deep threat Hubener has been looking for. I still think Deante Burton will lead the team in receptions, but if his drop problems persist Davis could benefit.

Let’s not get carried away here. Andy Reid did what a lot of coaches would do in that situation and called a running back draw (normally a safe play) in hopes Jamaal Charles could gain big yards up the middle, Charles just happened to fumble the ball and catastrophe ensued. It was a terrible play, and you can certainly argue Reid should have either thrown the ball (attempt to win in regulation) or take a knee (secure overtime) but I look at it as simply a terrible play with a terrible result. Also, the game was tied. There was no guarantee the Chiefs were going to win.

Pervis Pasco, however, made a boneheaded decision to celebrate rather than dribble.

He wins.

I still think it’s the Chiefs. They have already beaten Houston on the road and had to do everything wrong to lose to Denver. Given their 16-game schedule, they probably win between eight and 10 games.

A safe projection for K-State’s win total at this point would be seven, though I could see as many as nine if Texas and Oklahoma State continue to play shaky. This is actually a good proposition bet. Someone get Bovada on the phone and tell them about it.

I will give him until the end of the season, so let’s set the O/U at 12.

If he can improve his completion percentage and lead K-State to eight or nine victories, maybe that would be enough to win the job without a competition next year. But I doubt it. Jesse Ertz and Alex Delton will be there to compete next preseason.

The biggest issue is that K-State doesn’t recruit many players that rank high on the recruiting websites. Sure, coaches look at the rankings like everyone else, but they go by their own analysis. Dana Dimel once told me K-State’s ideal recruit is a two-star player with four-star talent. Less ego from the player and less competition from other colleges. I can’t remember the last time the Wildcats went after a five-star prospect.

Bill Snyder prefers to recruit based on character and talent. He also prefers to wait longer than most coaches to extend offers. Most touted recruits get early offers. When K-State is involved with a highly rated player, they face the same problems as everyone else. It’s hard beating Oklahoma and Alabama for recruits. Snyder also rarely takes recruiting trips himself, preferring to meet players on their visits and to talk with them for extended time in his office. He doesn’t ride helicopters to high school games like Kevin Sumlin.

That being said, K-State has done OK with four-star recruits lately. Quarterback Skylar Thompson is committed, Duke Shelley and Jonathan Banks were four-star guys. Tanner Wood was a touted prospect. Terrell Clinkscales and Dvonta Derricott were both four stars, they just didn’t pan out.

Let’s call it a tie between lemon and bubble game. If I want the sweet taste of lemon, I will drink an Arnold Palmer. If I want the satisfying taste of bubble game, I will chew gum. Don’t feed it to me in ice cream form.

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.

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