QB controversy brewing at K-State?

By Joshua Kinder

Nobody said the words Tuesday, but one has to wonder now if a quarterback controversy might be brewing at Kansas State.

Wildcats coach Bill Snyder heaped praise on junior Jake Waters following his first-career start last Friday in which he completed 21 of 29 passes for 280 yards and a pair of long touchdown passes — to go with two interceptions — in K-State’s 24-21 loss to North Dakota State.

But Snyder also said Friday night backup Daniel Sams will get more action going forward. He reiterated that Tuesday during his weekly press conference.

“He deserves it,” Snyder said. “Jake proved he’s a very capable quarterback and played well, but you have a good athlete like Daniel and you have to find places for him, which we will.”

Sams needed just one play to make his presence felt against the visiting Bison, entering the game with 10 minutes left in the third quarter and the Wildcats facing a third-and-3 from the North Dakota State 17.

The sophomore took the shotgun snap and bolted to this left, dodged a few tackles and then bounced into the end zone for a score to give the Wildcats a 21-7 lead.

Snyder’s reaction to the touchdown run?

“I threw my headset on the ground and cut my hand,” Snyder said. “I was mad because we hadn’t put him in before.”

But Sams only saw one more snap after that, another rush, but that time for no gain. That’s expected to change this Saturday when the Wildcats host Louisiana at 5:30 p.m. — televised again on Fox Sports 1.

One has to think a big factor in the decision to play Sams more has something to do with Waters’ inability to move the ball on the ground. Known more for his arm, the junior college transfer struggled to break free all night, rushing 11 times for only 1 yard — in addition to being sacked three times.

Just how this proposed two-headed quarterback idea is going to work isn’t quite known yet. Snyder said it could be a few plays here and there, but it could also be an entire series. Every option is on the table.

“It is very difficult to do because you don’t want to break the continuity of a young guy who is on the field,” Snyder said. “But by the same token, Daniel is a very athletic young guy, and it’s my feeling he needed to be on the field because he has capabilities of making plays, which he did.”

Sams is ready. 

“I’m just waiting for my opportunity whenever coach calls on me and be ready to step forward and do what I have to do,” he said. “I wouldn’t see anything wrong with both of us playing. I believe it can work because me and Jake bring two different styles to the offense.

“It can mess some defenses up with the change of pace… and as I look back I don’t recall him playing two quarterbacks ever. I don’t suggest coach change his coaching style just to see me on the field.”

Snyder has used two quarterbacks before, most recently the combination of Collin Klein and Carson Coffman in 2011. Going back further, he deployed two quarterbacks during the 2005 season when Allen Webb and Allan Evridge shared the job. Marc Dunn split time with a young Ell Roberson in 2001.

Sams is still listed as the backup on the depth chart this week, but wouldn’t explicitly say whether or not he’s working in more with the No. 1 unit this week.

“I wish I could answer that, but you know how coach is,” Sams said. “I’m going to stay away from that question.”

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