2009 Kansas State Wildcats Football Preview
2008 Record: (5-7, 2-6)
2008 Bowl: none
Coach: Bill Snyder (136-68-1 at Kansas State, 136-68-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Bill Snyder
Defensive Coordinator: Chris Cosh and Vic Koenning
Other Key Returnees: DT Daniel Calvin, S Chris Carney, LB Eric Childs, S Tysyn Hartman, S Courtney Herndon, LB Alex Hrebec, TE Jeron Mastrud, LB Ulla Pomele, WR Aubrey Quarles
Key Losses: C Jordan Bedore, DE Ian Campbell, CB Ray Cheatham, QB Josh Freeman, WR Deon Murphy, WR Ernie Pierce, K Brooks Rossman, G Gerard Spexarth, LB Reggie Walker
Between 1989 and 2005 Bill Snyder turned Kansas State from a football afterthought into a national power. By the time Coach Ron Prince took over the program was not much of a national power, but Coach Prince certainly did not keep the Wildcats a power in the Big 12 North. Now Coach Snyder is back to work his magic once again and there is no reason to think that the second time will be any different than the first.
Kansas State's Strengths:
Coach Snyder is an innovative offensive coach and the unit returns a ton of talent. There is a slew of talent at receiver, most notably Brandon Banks. Banks tallied 1,049 receiving yards in 2008, but Aubrey Quarles is also an intriguing option. Tight end Jeron Mastrud is a solid pass catcher and he will be the quarterback’s safety valve. The story is the same at the running back position. Lamark Brown led the team with a mere 412 yards per game, but he is a former wide receiver who can turn into a dynamic and unpredictable playmaker. Logan Dold and Keithen Valentine also saw quality playing time last season and both are capable of emerging as quality rushers now that they have more experience under their belt. The offensive line lost a few starters, but they do return four players who started at least three games last year. The unit has room to improve and they could very well do just that with the help of tackle Nick Stringer.
Kansas State's Weaknesses:
All the pieces are there for KSU to have a dynamic offense…except one. Who is the quarterback? Josh Freeman left early and ended up as a first round pick in the NFL Draft. Next in line is Carson Coffman who completed 61.0 percent of his passes last year in mop-up duty. But despite having the most experience, the job is not Coffman’s quite yet. Junior college transfer Daniel Thomas is a dual-threat signal caller and he could be a better fit in the system if he can play well in the fall. The defense lacks a pass rusher now that Ian Campbell is gone and players like Brandon Harold have to at least get some pressure on the opposing quarterback. The secondary has some talent, most notably corner Joshua Moore, but he needs to get help from the rest of the defense or KSU will come up on the short end of some high scoring games.
The Bottom Line for the Wildcats:
If the quarterback situation works itself out, this could be a pretty good team. The defense has some decent playmakers in linebackers Alex Hrebec, Eric Childs and Ulla Pomele and the defense could be pretty good if the front four can get into the backfield. Yet, this is the Big 12 and Kansas State will have to win games with its offense and that will all come down to the play of the quarterback.
By Joel Welser
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