It’s September, we’re 3 games into the K-State football season and Big 12 play starts this week for the Wildcats with a visit to the Texas Longhorns. This weekend may be the biggest test for the Cats to foreshadow what the rest of the season will bring. With that, I’d like to give you my “State of the Wildcat Union” address.
K-State started the year with a bang, but not in a good way. Losing to North Dakota State University left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, as well as raised enormous concerns for the rest of the season. In hindsight, it may not have been the wisest decision to schedule the defending FCS champion the first game of the year. The loss not only crushed K-State fans’ spirits, it ruined the unveiling of our new West Stadium Construction.
The following two weeks after our loss to NDSU, K-State bounced back nicely to claim sizable wins over Louisiana Lafayette and UMass. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this tells us much about our team’s potential, as these two opponents are considered to be inferior in the world of college football. Nevertheless, the two victories may have restored some confidence in the team. It also gave K-State backup players a chance to see some playing time, which will be good for our depth through the rest of the season.
Looking forward, K-State’s journey seems to be heading toward a steep mountain with the Big 12 conference being strong as always. There’s a lot of talk around the K-State community about what is going to bring the Wildcats success in the 2013-2014 season. Most of the talk hinges on the quarterback situation, who should start at that position, as well as K-State’s defense. The Big 12 conference is loaded with teams that have high powered offenses, and K-States ability to stop these teams is crucial. As far as our quarterbacks are concerned, we have work to do in developing both Jake Waters and Daniel Sams. As the season goes on though, I predict that Jake and Daniel will form a complimentary team that is hard to stop.
My estimation of the team’s success comes from a little different perspective. Bill Snyder teams have always had a strong run game, which has been a weak spot in this year’s squad. For K-State to have a successful year, John Hubert needs to have a successful year. And for John Hubert to have a successful year, our offensive line needs to start creating opportunities. If K-State can develop the offensive line to create holes for Hubert, as well as give Jake Waters ample time to throw the ball, K-State’s future is looking bright. The other half of our success depends on stopping the run. With the high powered offensive teams in our league, our opponents run game could be the deciding factor. Our defensive line needs to develop, make stops and put pressure on opposing quarterback’s to keep them from marching down the field on every drive. In short, if K-State can improve their offensive and defensive lines, we may just find ourselves at the top of the conference when the season is finished.
The game this week in Austin is going to tell us a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of our team. Although Texas is struggling right now and Ash may not play, they still have talent and are a strong ball club. I predict that the Wildcats will have learned from their first three games, fixed a few of their weaknesses, and be ready to snatch yet another victory from the Longhorns with a 10 point win. By the end of the season, I’m confident in Bill’s ability to train our fine young men, and lead them to a successful season of 9 wins and yet another bowl game.