Kansas State just got its first Big 12 win of the season, and in the process Jake Waters proved once and for all that he, and not Daniel Sams, should be the full-time starting quarterback.
The Kansas State Wildcats (3-4) went into the game against WVU reeling and looking for their first Big 12 win. Waters, who had seen limited time in recent weeks backing up Sams, proved to be the spark Bill Snyder was looking for.
Waters put up three touchdowns and 198 yards through the air on 10-of-13 passing. He also rushed for 55 yards and helped secure the Wildcats' first win in over a month, a 35-12 thrashing of the Mountaineers.
Waters actually got off to a bad start, fumbling the ball on the Wildcats' first possession. But Snyder said after the game that he was pleased with how Waters responded.
"I am proud of him," Snyder said. "When things don't go your way that is what you are supposed to do. We are all supposed to do that. That is what life is all about."
Where Waters really showed his stuff was on two deep touchdown throws to his two favorite targets, Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson. The Wildcats lit up the scoreboard first on a 35-yard bomb to Lockett, whom Waters hit in stride on a post route.
Then in the second half, Waters found Thompson on an almost identical play that went for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Kansas State put the game away when Waters threw a perfect 24-yard strike to Lockett in the back corner of the end zone, giving K-State a 28-12 lead with just 7:31 remaining.
Many fans at Kansas State had been yearning for Sams to takeover ever since they saw him achieve some success as Collin Klein's backup last year. Waters three-touchdown performance, in fact, is the most productive game for a K-State quarterback since Klein went 19-of-21 with three TDs against WVU last season.
With his performance today, Waters proved that he deserves to be the starting quarterback as Kansas State looks to win three of its next five games to become bowl eligible.
*Quotes obtained firsthand unless noted