MANHATTAN — Bill Snyder still isn't ready to settle on a single quarterback just yet, and Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton are OK with that.
Not that they have much choice.
After Kansas State's narrow 27-24 escape in the season opener against South Dakota, Snyder remains committed to using both quarterbacks for this Saturday's 11 a.m. showdown with No. 18-ranked Mississippi State at Snyder Family Stadium.
"All I can tell you is that both of them will play a significant role and (will) play," Snyder said Monday during the weekly Big 12 coaches' conference call. "I thought Skylar and Alex both had their positive moments and both had their negative moments. I don't think there was a dramatic difference between the two."
While Thompson started and finished the game, directing the winning touchdown drive, it was a rough night overall for the entire Wildcats offense. And both quarterbacks had a hand in that.
"It's hard to get in a rhythm, period, with Alex and I both playing," said Thompson, who played the last quarter-plus after Delton started the second half. "But I just try to control what I can control and when coach called my name I was going to be ready.
"It's the first game of the year, a lot of pregame jitters — all that stuff going on — trying to settle into the game, and that's a process. Definitely in the fourth quarter I started to get in a rhythm and the nerves were gone and I was settling down."
After Isaiah Zuber's 85-yard punt return early in the fourth finally cut into K-State's 12-point halftime deficit, Thompson marched the Wildcats 64 yards for what proved to be the game winner on a 10-yard strike over the middle to Zuber in the back of the end zone.
Delton, for his part, came on late in the first quarter and directed three drives that resulted in Blake Lynch field goals and a brief 12-10 lead. But he also threw a pick-six with just over a minute left in the first half that put South Dakota up 24-12.
"Skylar was able to come in and get some movement with the team in the second half of the ballgame, but realize everybody had their opportunities and we went three quarters without putting the ball in the end zone," Snyder said. "So that's obviously a major concern."
Thompson was the more accurate passer, completing 8 of 14 for 61 yards and the touchdown, while Delton was 5 of 14 for 91 yards, including completions of 27 yards to Dalton Schoen and 20 to Zuber. Delton also had 78 yards rushing to 58 for Thompson.
"I wouldn't say it makes it necessarily difficult, I just think sometimes it's non-rhythmic, coming in and out of games," Delton said of splitting time with Thompson. "But that's what coach wants to do, so that's what we're going to roll with.
"Sometimes it's just going with whatever coach says. Obviously I want to be in there the whole time, Sky wants to be in there the whole time, so we've just come to the conclusion we're going to do whatever coach asks of us, and that's what we did (Saturday)."
The biggest issue, Thompson said, was the uncertainty regarding playing time.
"I didn't really know how it was going to go," he said. "I knew I was starting and that (Delton) was going to come in eventually, but I didn't know when or where I would go back in.
"If they decided to stick with Alex or put me in there to finish it off, I was ready."
While eager for more playing time, Delton was pleasantly surprised by how well the logistics worked.
"Coming in and out, it went smoother than I expected and we both complemented each other's games, but it's just one of those things," Delton said. "We've just got to tough it out and deal with it."