There will be games going forward in which Kansas State will be unable to win without Collin Klein under center, but the Wildcats’ upcoming matchup against TCU is not one of those contests.
Klein left KSU’s most recent game against Oklahoma State with a head injury, according to Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel. The Associated Press’ Dave Skretta reported that Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder has not tipped his hand as to whether Klein will play against the Horned Frogs.
Source: KState's Collin Klein was taken out Saturday over concerns of a possible concussion. Didn’t know he just scored TD. Story coming— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 4, 2012
Bill Snyder unsure of Collin Klein's status for next week's game.— Dave Skretta (@APdaveskretta) November 4, 2012
Kansas State still managed to win the game 44-30 and retain the No. 2 spot in the BCS Standings.
While the star quarterback will be in New York as a Heisman finalist and has an excellent chance to win the award, one player cannot take a team to the No. 2 ranking in the country by himself. Kansas State has a talented team, and regardless of the Klein’s ability to play this weekend, the Wildcats will remain undefeated after the matchup with TCU.
If Klein misses next week’s game, freshman quarterback Daniel Sams will take his place. His inexperience is worrisome, but Sams handled the pressure well after stepping in against Oklahoma State, and he completed five of his six passes for 45 yards.
Sams has also been used occasionally as a rusher this season, and he has totaled 235 yards and three touchdowns on 32 attempts. If the freshman is forced to be under center against the Horned Frogs, the Wildcats will rush the ball often and they are capable dominating in the ground game with Sams at quarterback.
His 7.3 yards per carry average proves that he is an effective runner. While this stat may dip due to a more central role, he can still be a valuable asset in the ground game.
But the bulk of the responsibility for picking up rushing yards will go to junior running back John Hubert. His numbers this season show that he is up to the challenge.
Hubert has gained 760 yards on 137 attempts (5.5 yards per carry) and has reached the end zone 12 times. If he is forced to bare a bigger load with Klein on the sidelines, he will have an excellent day.
On the other side of the ball, the Wildcats’ defense had been fantastic this season and it will clamp down on the TCU offense.
In games against Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas Tech—all of which have talented passing attacks—the defense stepped up and frustrated its opponents. OU’s Landry Jones had just one touchdown pass to go with an interception while Mountaineers QB Geno Smith threw his first two interceptions of the season against KSU, and Red Raiders signal-caller Seth Doege could not keep the game close as his team trailed by as many as 38 points against the Wildcats.
TCU’s offense is not nearly as talented as either of these three schools, and the Kansas State defense will make life difficult for the Horned Frogs this Saturday.
If Klein is unable to play, his team still has enough talent on both sides of the ball to win the upcoming matchup without him. If he is on the field against TCU, Kansas State will enjoy an even more convincing victory.