MANHATTAN — For the better part of a year, Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton went head-to-head, battling to be Kansas State's starting quarterback.
Now they'll be on opposite sidelines.
Thompson eventually won the starting job and remained the Wildcats' quarterback under new coach Chris Klieman, while Delton went the graduate transfer route, landing at TCU. The teams will meet at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Although they were competing for the same job, it never became personal, Thompson insisted.
"Alex and I have exchanged some text messages, just talking about football, talking about everything," Thompson said. "It definitely is different, but at the same time we all understand where we're at and the positions that we're in.
"There's no hurt feelings or anything like that. It's all love from us with him."
Delton has had an up-and-down season for the Horned Frogs, who come in at 3-2 with a 1-1 Big 12 record. He started the first two games, but mostly has been relegated to a backup role behind freshman Max Duggan.
Even so, he has appeared in every game and will continue to do so, according to TCU coach Gary Patterson.
"He's been great here," Patterson said. "Been the consummate teammate (and) one of my captains.
"Even when he hasn't been the starter, he's been great for as far as how he's handled things."
Even though Duggan has been the starter, Klieman expects to see Delton, as well. Especially in running situations.
"On the limited snaps that we have seen him play this year and just listening to the (graduate assistants) and guys around and stuff, he's a really good football player," Klieman said. "He makes things happen. He's a spark for them and I think he throws the ball probably better than what people give him credit for, but he's so dangerous running the football and we know that."
This will be the second time this season that K-State has lined up against a former teammate. Wide receiver Isaiah Zuber transferred to Mississippi State as a graduate and the Wildcats won that game on the road, 31-24.
"That will be interesting, seeing him come out of the opposing team's tunnel," K-State center Adam Holtorf said of Delton. "I'm sure we'll share some words after the game, as well.
"It will be good to see him, but a little unique being a former teammate across the field."
Thompson said he's been pulling for Delton to succeed.
"We're going to go out and compete," he said. "I think that's the main thing, and do our best and it will be a lot of fun."