K-Stated

Kansas State Q&A: Joe Hubener vs. Kody Cook, Will Geary vs. Dalton Risner, secondary struggles, and a TCU prediction

TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin eludes Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis. Nov. 8, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won 41-20. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin eludes Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis. Nov. 8, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won 41-20. (AP Photo/LM Otero) AP

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Let’s dive right into your questions. As always, thanks for asking them.

1. Jesse Ertz (out/knee)

2. Joe Hubener

3. Alex Delton (out/knee)

4. Jonathan Banks (questionable/illness)

5. Kody Cook (probable/shoulder)

6. Zach Davidson

7. Will Geary

8. Dalton Risner

I expect Joe Hubener to start at quarterback and Kody Cook to play mainly receiver with some quarterback sprinkled in. The original plan for the Oklahoma State game was for Cook to serve as the wildcat quarterback, giving K-State a passing option out of the formation it lacked with Charles Jones. But he played so well in practice that they threw him in there full time when Hubener had to come out.

There are advantages to rolling with Cook. He completes the short passes that Hubener doesn’t and he is a better runner on quarterback keepers. But he can’t throw to himself if he’s at quarterback. The Wildcats need him at receiver.

I also wonder if Cook’s shoulder injury against Oklahoma State impacts his throwing motion. It looked an awful lot like what happened to Jake Waters last season. He will have to play through pain on Saturday. A healthy Hubener seems like the smarter option.

I am glad someone asked this question. Thank you.

If K-State’s quarterbacks continue to get sidelined, Bill Snyder will have to get creative for replacements. Who better than defensive tackle Will Geary and center Dalton Risner? Well, there are probably many more qualified candidates to serve as the Wildcats’ seventh-and-eighth-string quarterbacks. But these are the guys we are going with after Snyder jokingly said Geary is ready to rotate in at quarterback, and Risner volunteered to help out, too.

Geary seems like the stronger option. Perhaps that is why Snyder mentioned him. Geary was a multi-sport athlete in high school (football, baseball, track and wrestling) so he is versatile. And Risner admitted it would be fun to snap the ball to Geary and watch him take off running. But would he have enough energy to lead K-State’s offense and play defensive tackle? He is a pivotal player on the defensive line. Also, pro scouts would probably shake their head at his height - 6-foot-0.

So maybe the 6-5 Risner is a better option. He could certainly help the offensive line with blocking audibles. Of course, he would need someone to snap the ball to him. Or maybe he could play center and quarterback at the same time? Who knows? Anything can happen when linemen start taking snaps.

Anyone? More like everyone.

The tradition continues. Well done. Only way it happens is if Hubener goes down for extended time. So let’s go with 0.5.

TCU is a 10-point favorite, and I picked the Horned Frogs to win 35-21. So, I’m not expecting a K-State cover, sorry. Oklahoma State lit up K-State’s secondary for 441 yards and four touchdowns last week. And TCU is like Oklahoma State on steroids. Stopping Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson will be quite the chore for K-State’s defense.

But it’s not like I jumped in a time machine, traveled to the future and purchased a sports almanac. My predictions are shaky just like everyone else. Even Biff Tanner’s almanac ended in 2000.

TCU has not won convincingly on the road. It survived at Minnesota 23-17 and needed a fortunate deflection to win at Texas Tech 55-52. And Jerry Palm of CBS Sports says K-State with the points is a great option this week. This could be a close game, too.

I hope K-State gives Duke Shelley a shot. The former four-star recruit was supposed to redshirt this season, so he hasn’t played. But coaches are high on him, and K-State needs help defending the pass. Maybe it’s time to pull his redshirt and let him play.

With as many defensive backs as they can? I don’t know, you said the best answers were off limits. One would think a corner and a safety will be devoted to him at all times. I asked Snyder the same question earlier this week, and he said K-State’s secondary will simply have to play at a much higher level than normal.

Elijah Lee has the speed to do it, and he looked great as a spy against Louisiana Tech’s Jeff Driskel. Granted, Boykin is a much better player than Driskel. But Lee is the best candidate.

The secondary could definitely be more aggressive. K-State’s front seven ranks third nationally against the run, so you know teams are going to try throw the ball. Why not put corners and safeties in a position to jump routes and create turnovers? The Wildcats played off the ball and couldn’t stop anything against Oklahoma State. But the scheme is only partially to blame. Dante Barnett, the unit’s best player, is out. Morgan Burns is getting picked on. And Danzel McDaniel is struggling in coverage. Execution could be better, too.

TCU allows 174 rushing yards, which ranks 79th nationally. So Snyder will undoubtedly want to hurt the Horned Frogs on the ground. The scenario you described is certainly what the Wildcats want. Then again, they only gave Silmon 15 touches last week in a game they led most of the way. I think he will have something closer to 75 yards and one touchdown.

I think so. There’s no telling how much longer Bill Snyder, who turned 76 this week, will continue to coach, though I suspect it will be a while longer as he wants to see how far he can take this group of young talent. And John Currie is respected nationally as an athletic director. Does he leave for another job before Snyder retires? Or does Snyder retire before Currie moves elsewhere? That is what the question comes down to. My guess is Currie will be at K-State a while longer, too, and he hires Snyder’s replacement.

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

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