The Kansas State Wildcats held their annual Purple-White game last Saturday where construction of the new West Stadium Center was very much on display.
The Purple team which consisted of the first-team offense and defense easily won as they put up 76 points while holding the White team to 3.
The Purple offense was not slowed down all day as they amassed 855 yards of total offense including 640 through the air.
Juco transfer quarterback Jake Waters got the start as the starter was decided by a coin flip. Waters was 16 for 22 for 257 yards and three touchdowns as he played in the first and third quarters and helped the Purple score 14 in each. “Being out there for the first time in front of the crowd, in a game type atmosphere, I thought it went pretty well,” said Waters. “I had some mistakes, some calls that I would like to have back, but for the most part we came out and competed, and that’s all we can ask for.”
Red-shirt sophomore Daniel Sams threw for 413 yards as he completed 20 of his 31 pass attempts and four touchdowns but did have an interception. The Purples scored 24 points in each of the two quarters Sams was in charge. “I showed I could sling it a little bit,” said Sams. “I made some bad throws. I under-threw some receivers and missed a couple touchdowns, but overall, I feel like as a team we all did well. So from here all we can do is grow.”
Junior wide receiver Tyler Lockett talking about the quarterbacks: “It’s a great experience. Collin (Klein) has really been able to teach Daniel and Jake throughout this whole entire spring. Every ball might not be perfect, like it wasn’t perfect with Collin, but just like coach says we are going to have to go out there and make plays.”
Coach Snyder added this about the quarterback play, “I saw some very positive things from both of them, and some issues that we were aware of during the course of the spring. They threw the ball with more consistency, but the defense was pretty basic.”
Senior running back Robert Rose got the start for the Purple’s and ran for 141 yards on 17 carries and had a touchdown. Lockett had nine catches for 231 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Senior tide end Andre McDonald had eight catches and had a high light play as he ran over a would-be tackler in the first half to get extra yards. Senior receiver Tramaine Thompson had six receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Torell Miller had five catches and also had a pair of touchdowns.
Page 2 of 2 - Senior linebacker Blake Slaughter led the Purple team with 8.5 tackles while senior defensive end Alauna Finau and sophomore defensive back Dante Barnett each had 5.5 tackles. The Purple defense held the White offense to 183 total yards and only 62 of that through the air.
The offensive starters for the Wildcats were: Waters QB, Rose RB, Lockett, Thompson and Miller at WR, McDonald TE, senior Tavon Rooks LT, senior Keenan Taylor LG, sophomore Boston Stiverson C, sophomore Cody Whitehair RG, and senior Cornelius Lucas RT.
A few offensive players that will start or at least have significant playing time next year who didn’t play on Saturday because of some nagging injuries were senior running back John Hubert, junior center B.J. Finney, junior wide receiver Curry Sexton, and junior tight end Zach Trujillo.
The defensive starters were Finau and junior Ryan Mueller at DE, sophomore Travis Britz, senior Chaquil Reed DT, sophomore Mike Moore, Slaughter, and junior Jonathan Truman at LB; Barnett and senior Kip Daily at the corner, senior Ty Zimmerman and junior Randall Evans at safety. Senior linebacker Tre Walker is still recovering from a knee injury last year but is expected to play the first game.
Kansas State Wildcats, the defending Big 12 Champions, should again be a good football team and the offense that is put on the field no matter who the quarterback is should be one of the best in the nation.
It starts up front and K-State has arguably the best line in the Conference along with a running back and two receivers that will be 3-year starters.
The defense is a work in progress as they only return two players who started in the Fiesta Bowl. There is good talent at every position and when Walker gets back he will make the defense better as he is not only the best linebacker but he is the inspirational leader.
Kansas State opens the season on Friday, August 30th in a nationally televised game putting them up against 2-time FCS defending national champion North Dakota State in an evening game.