Snyder committed to both QBs
By ARNE GREEN
Special to The Telegram
Bill Snyder left the depth chart alone, but acknowledged Monday that he remains committed to both of his quarterbacks.
Starter Jake Waters and backup Daniel Sams provided an effective one-two punch Saturday in Kansas State's 48-27 victory over Louisiana, convincing Snyder that both have enough to offer — albeit in different packages — to justify the departure from his single-quarterback philosophy.
"The bottom line is that you have two fine players and they're very competent in things that they do, or have the capacity to be very competent in the things that they do," Snyder said during the weekly Big 12 coaches teleconference. "When one of them is not on the field, there's some things that you're missing out of your offense.
"Both of them at least have performed, up to this point in time, well enough to be our quarterback. At this point in time, Jake Waters is our number one quarterback and Daniel is number two, but as anyone can see, Daniel is a very competent young guy in the things that he does and he works to our advantage, I think, when he's on the field."
Waters got the Wildcats off to a good start against Louisiana, completing 20-of-25 first-half passes for 250 yards, though Sams made appearances on both touchdown drives, running 13 yards himself for one score. Waters struggled the second half, going 2-for-6 with 28 yards and an interception.
"I know he didn't perform as well in the second half as he did in the first half," Snyder said. "(But) I think he was a better player in the first half of this ballgame than he was in the previous ballgame (a 24-21 loss to North Dakota State)."
Sams attempted just two passes against Louisiana, throwing one ball away under pressure and hitting tight end Zach Trujillo for 27 yards over the middle on the other. But he continued to pick up big chunks on the ground, rushing eight times for 63 yards.
Snyder's stated preference is to achieve balance on offense with just one quarterback, but said the playbook can accommodate anyone.
"Our offense really is very, very broad based, and it's more expansive than most people tend to want to realize, and we just try to play to what the strengths of our players are," he said. "We've got virtually all the formations and all the movement, all the motions, all the tempos, all the schemes.
"You've accumulated them over the years, but it really relies on not just the quarterback, what that quarterback can do, but you have to do what everybody can do, or at least attempt to."
On the right track
Snyder said he was pleased with the Wildcats' first-half performance against Louisiana, when they rolled up 324 yards total offense to just 110 for the Ragin' Cajuns.
The second half, not so much.
"I think our defense allowed no conversions on third down in six attempts," he said of the first half. "Offensively, we were 5 of 8 on first down.
"We were on our path toward making the kind of improvement that was necessary for us to make that, that we truly wanted to make.
"Then after a good start in the second half, which was a positive, particularly in the kicking game, the latter stages of about six and a half minutes of the third quarter we gave up three scores and 21 points in that brief period of time. We weren't able to maintain the improvement that we had initiated in the first half."
K-State wide receiver Tramaine Thompson was named Big 12 special teams player of the week for his performance against Louisiana, where he returned the second-half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
Roughly four minutes later he took a punt back 79 yards before going down by the facemask at the 3-yard line. The resulting penalty gave the Wildcats the ball on the 1, where Waters took it over for a touchdown.
Throw in another 15-yard punt return, two receptions for 46 yards, and Thomas finished with 234 all-purpose yards.
Bill Snyder made Internet news last week when word got out that he penned a hand-written note to North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen after the Bison beat K-State in the season opener.
Snyder said Monday that the gesture was not that unusual.
"I do it after virtually every ballgame to young people who I thought played well against us and coaches for their preparation - just a congratulatory note and just wishing them well," he said.