2010 Record | 7-6 (3-5 in Big 12)
Returning Starters | 13 (7 on offense, 6 on defense)
Key Losses | The most significant loss is RB Daniel Thomas, who was the Kansas St. offense and he was fantastic last year. Thomas had 1,585 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. Just tremendous production from your running back. QB Carson Coffman also graduates and although he wasn't great, he was efficient last year, comleting 65% of his passes for 2,060 yards, 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Leading receiver, Aubrey Quarles, 51 receptions, 760 yards and 5 touchdowns, also graduates. That's your leading passer, receiver and rusher. Defensively, both defensive ends, Prizell Brown and Antonio Felder graduate as do both cornerbacks, Terrance Sweeney and Stephen Harrison.
Key Additions | Woot! An easy one to figure out, this has to be the Brown brothers, LB Arthur Brown and RB Bryce Brown. Both were highly rated players coming out of high school and Bryce Brown was voted as the media preseason newcomer of the year in the Big 12. Arthur Brown is a very athletic linebacker that should make an immediate impact. And as a bit of an aside, Snyder isn't afraid to recruit JUCO players. By my count, Snyder had eight JUCO commits in his 2011 class: DB Allen Chapman, DB Kip Daily, DT Vaikalafi Lutui, DB Nigel Malone, ATH Agelo Pease, OL Shaun Simon, DT Bo Tillman, QB Justin Tuggle and DE Meshak Williams.
Impact Offensive Player | It's hard not to pick RB Bryce Brown, especially considering how K-State ran the ball last year with Thomas and an unproven quarterback in Collin Kelin. Bryce (6-0/215) originally committed to Tennessee and played for Tennessee as a true freshman (YouTubery) where he had 101 carries for 476 yards and 3 touchdowns. Obviously, you have people questioning if Brown can carry the same number of times that Thomas did as a senior.
Impact Defensive Player | Again, it's hard not to go with LB Arthur Brown, who originally committed to play for Miami, but ended transferring to K-State. He didn't do much, while at Miami, but he did play as a true freshman and sophomore. Nevertheless, Arthur has earned one of the starting inside linebacker spots and from what I've read, Snyder feels that Arthur's addition helps the overall athleticism of the linebacking corps.
|Texas St. Bobcats
|@ New Mexico Lobos
|@ Kansas Jayhawks
|Texas A&M Aggies
|Kansas St. Wildcats
|@ Oklahoma Sooners
|Iowa St. Cyclones
|@ Texas Longhorns
|Oklahoma St. Cowboys
|@ Missouri Tigers
vs. Texas Tech | K-State replaces three offensive line starters and that's never easy, but Kansas State does have three offensive lineman that have started before in Clyde Aufner, Zach Hanson and Manase Foketi. Foketi played all of last year at left tackle The aforementioned Klein did play some last year, was K-State's 2nd leading rusher with 432 yards and 6 touchdowns, and completed 11 of 18 passes for 138 yards and 1 touchdown. Klein did have an impressive spring game, completing 25 of 37 for 358 yards and 5 touchdowns. Since Quarles graduated, the remaining Wildcat receivers don't have a ton of catches. Chris Harper, Adrian Hilburn and Tramaine Thompson all had 19 or more receiptions, but didn't do anything special. Harper did have 4 touchdowns, but overall fairly pedestrian.
I've already mentioned the running game being the strength of the K-State offense. They were 22nd in the nation in rushing offense last year. And just to understand what Bryce Brown or the other running backs returning should expect are 42 carries and 199 yards rushing per game last year. Of those 42 carries, Thomas had 22, which is why there's a concern as to whether or not Bryce Brown can carry the load.
There are some key positions being replaced, but DT Raphael Guidry anchors the inside, LB Emmanuel Lamor returns at linebacker and Tysyn Hartman helps settle what will likely be an inexperienced secondary, especially at cornerback. I should also mention behoemoth DT Brandon Harold. Harold played as a true freshman and is just a sophomore (he was injured a good part of last year) and was amazed how big he was then.
I mentioned the cornerbacks and after the spring, Snyder talked about how they are going to have to rely on some of the newcomers, "At the corners, we have newcomers, which include some who were not with us in the spring. We do need depth at the corner positions, and we anticipate the community college players to provide that. Newness is always a concern, but the new players we have coming in at least are transfers who have played at the collegiate level."
I know as a Texas Tech fan that I would worry greatly if the Red Raiders were recruiting eight JUCO players, but this is what Snyder does and this is how he rebuilds teams. Snyder may be older, but he can coach and he knows how to win and he has a plan. Those sorts of things are invaluable. And I know, you're thinking, "but Seth, it's K-State." I do not think I can understate how impressive it was for Snyder to turn around Kansas State the first time, and in his second year, he got K-State back on track with a winning record. You may not think that's reason to rejoice, but after suffering with Ron Prince for way too long, I think you'd be excited too.
This will be an interesting game for Texas Tech in that Texas Tech will either be coming off an impressive win against TAMU, or a really tough loss. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this team reacts to either situation. Texas Tech and K-State are similar in that they are both replacing their quarterbacks, leading rusher and leading receiver.