Most Profound Takeaways from Kansas State Football's Spring Game
The Kansas State Wildcats, winners of the 2012 Big 12 title, took the field on Saturday afternoon for its annual Purple-White game.
Probably the biggest storyline heading into the game was the quarterback battle between redshirt sophomore Daniel Sams and junior college transfer Jake Waters. The two have been jockeying to see who will replace Collin Klein, who finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting last season.
Purple, which represented the first-team offense and defense, won the game 76-3. Head coach Bill Snyder flipped the first half score though, so the final tally on the scoreboard read 41-38 in favor of White.
While the quarterback battle was intriguing, there were plenty of other takeaways from Saturday's spring game.
*All quotes obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted.
Jake Waters Is Leading the QB Battle
Despite having only been on campus for less than a semester, Jake Waters seemingly has the lead when it comes to the quarterback race to replace Collin Klein.
In the game, Waters threw for 249 yards and three scores while going 14-for-18 on his passing attempts.
He also made some tough throws that, with no disrespect to him, Klein simply couldn't make last year. One of the best highlights came in the first quarter when Waters scrambled to the left and threw a deadly accurate pass while in a full sprint.
Waters says that his main focus going into summer camp will be to continue to develop chemistry with his offense.
"That's my big thing right now, I just need to get this offense better, understand it a little better, and know everything and what everyone does, so that's what I'm going to work on," said Waters.
Daniel Sams Is Right on His Heels
While Waters seemed more adept at throwing the ball, Sams proved to be the better overall athlete on Saturday.
He put up 391 yards passing and four touchdowns, but it took him 10 more pass attempts than Waters to do so.
Sams also looked good running the ball. He totaled 59 yards on the ground despite there being a two-hand touch rule for QBs in the game.
Being last year's backup to Collin Klein, Sams saw some significant playing time late in games last year and is more familiar with the offense than Waters.
While Sams is certainly gunning for the starting job, he says that he tries not to think about the race between him and Waters.
"I try not to worry about [the battle]," said Sams. "I just concentrate on what I control, which is what I do in the huddle, what I do with the offense, and just let everything else come with it."
Robert Rose Could Be a Good Backup RB
Primary running back John Hubert is currently dealing with an injury and missed Saturday's spring game.
That opened the door for Robert Rose to get plenty of carries during the game. And he took advantage of the opportunity.
Rose racked up 141 yards on just 17 carries and also scored a touchdown. His longest run of the day was 33 yards.
After the game, Rose said that he and Hubert could be a terrific tandem come this fall.
"I think we can be tremendous," said Rose. "I think we can be one of the best in the country. He has two years under his belt as the starter. John is more of a downhill runner, but I'm more of a slash-type guy. So I think that can mesh well."
Jack Cantele Is an Excellent Replacement for His Older Brother
Last year, Anthony Cantele was one of the best kickers in the Big 12.
This year, his younger brother Jack could end being a fine replacement as the team's kicker.
During the spring game, Cantele went 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts, with one of them being from 51 yards out. He also averaged 60 yards on six kickoffs.
Head coach Bill Snyder was impressed with how the younger Cantele performed.
"This is the best day he had throughout the course of the spring," said Snyder. "I'm proud of him because he did it with a few people in the stands."
Snyder joked at the end that the new kicker wouldn't have to worry about tuition costs in the fall.
"I told him he can keep his scholarship," Snyder said.
The Stadium Renovations Are Coming Along Well
During Saturday's spring game, construction crews were actively working on massive renovations to the west side of the stadium.
The over 16,000 fans that showed up were limited to one half of the stadium but got a great view of the progress being made at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
According to a report by Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star, construction is actually ahead of schedule and will be ready by the season opener on August 30.
Kansas State athletic director John Currie told reporters that, “People ask if this is going to be done by August 30. Well, they are already painting the walls. That’s how much progress we have made.”