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Kansas State Q&A: How does Joe Hubener compare to past quarterbacks? Plus young receivers, Baylor, and basketball predictions

K-State quarterback Joe Hubener. (Oct 17, 2015)
K-State quarterback Joe Hubener. (Oct 17, 2015) The Wichita Eagle

It’s time for another K-State Q&A.

Sorry about skipping last week. The Eagle is putting out a 44-page special section about college basketball on Sunday and 10 of those pages are committed to K-State. I was too busy working on that to answer your questions.

Hopefully a special Thursday blog will make up for the absence. K-State hosts Baylor tonight in football, and basketball season starts next week. We’ve got questions on both sports, so let’s get right to them. Thanks, as always, for participating.

The easy answer is Grant Gregory/Carson Coffman in 2009. They were the quarterbacks on the last K-State team to miss a bowl and total fewer than 4,200 yards of offense. But that team also won six games and averaged 349.3 yards. Gregory was average at best, but he completed 57.1 percent of his passes. Coffman had his struggles, but he made smart throws and went on to have a fine senior year. This team is going to have to work hard to reach six wins, and even harder to bump its yards per game average up from 314.6, a near Snyder low. Joe Hubener will likely finish the season with more incomplete passes than complete passes. So we have to go back further.

K-State struggled to move the ball in 2005 and it managed just 320.5 yards in 1996.

But they are nothing compared to the 1992 team, quarterbacked by Jason Smargiasso and Matt Garber. Neither one of them completed 50 percent of their passes. Both threw more interceptions than touchdowns and the team averaged 244 yards. That’s the best comparison to Hubener and this team.

Kody Cook gets work in at both quarterback and receiver with the first team every week. I’m sure he is getting better as a passer, but he looks like the clear backup quarterback to me. If Bill Snyder wanted to use Cook as anything more than that he would have done so by now.

Practicing? Yes, on a limited basis. But he won’t play against Baylor.

I’m not sure if Delton will play again this season, but part of me suspects Snyder will throw him into the starting lineup without warning against Texas Tech or Iowa State and surprise the heck out of those opponents.

Doubtful.

Baylor averages 686.1 yards and 61.1 points. K-State averages 314.6 yards and 27.3 points. That’s a huge gap, especially with the Wildcats slumping on offense. I’m picking the Bears to win big.

But some think the Wildcats have a shot. Athlon predicts they pull the upset.

I would use Dalvin Warmack a few times each game. Not as the feature back, but as a backfield passing option or a speed back. Everyone says he is one of the fastest players on the roster. His speed could bring a nice change of pace, especially compared to the slower, hard-running styles of Charles Jones and Justin Silmon.

As for young receivers, I hear good things about Isaiah Zuber and Denzel Goolsby. Both freshmen should help as they mature. I also like Dominique Heath.

Best-case scenario: 16 victories.

Worst-case scenario: 10 victories.

So K-State probably falls somewhere in between. The nonconference schedule has some challenging games, but the Wildcats should win the majority of them. Wins will be harder to come by in the Big 12. No team returns less experience than K-State. For the most part, I expect K-State to win the games it is favored to win and lose the games it is supposed to lose. The roster is too young and lacks the scorers necessary to upset Kansas or Iowa State or Oklahoma. But improved team chemistry should prevent unspeakable losses to Texas Southern. The overall record probably won’t change much from last season.

The biggest factor will be what kind of promise this young roster shows. If the team is improving and better seasons appear on the way, Weber will be back. If not, John Currie will have a decision to make. This is a rebuilding year for the Wildcats, and expectations are low. I’m not sure how much this year’s record matters compared to the big picture.

Bowl game.

Bruce Weber will really have to coach-up a young roster to get K-State to the NIT. Sports Illustrated ranks the Wildcats 119th nationally and last in the Big 12. They will have to finish in the top 100 nationally and the top 7 of the Big 12 to have a shot at the NIT. I can see them winning as many as 16 games, but that won’t be enough to make the NIT.

Bill Snyder’s team is halfway to bowl eligibility, and I think they make it to six wins. If players can maintain the right mental approach and play well once their schedule softens (at Texas Tech, Iowa State, at Kansas, West Virginia are all winnable) they can get to a bowl.

Lockett as a middle name for a girl? Sure! Tyler works for both boys and girls, too. I went to high school with a girl named Kevin. Aaron, though normally spelled differently, is a common girls name. There are plenty of Lockett options available.

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

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