Kansas State vs Iowa State football: Five questions with the opponent

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Dec 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back John Hubert (33) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Kansas State defeated Michigan 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

CC: How are the Wildcats replacing Daniel Sams, who moved from quarterback to wide receiver in the spring and then decided to transfer in May?

JM: A couple of ways. The first, which everyone knew going in, is that this year’s team is going to rely more on passing to set up the run than the usual Snyder trope of running to set up the pass. However, we did get a bit of a surprise Saturday as Charles Jones appears set to take on the occasional Wildcat role. He never threw, but he did take a couple of direct snaps.

It’s still too early to tell [if] K-State really is going with a committee approach or is just test-driving everyone to see how they perform in game situations.

The important thing to remember about Sams’ departure is that as electric as he was, he never emerged as a serious passing threat. Not to say he’s a bad passer, but when given the option to throw or run he almost always went with his legs. That presented a problem because defenses responded to those tendencies and just sold out the run with him in the game. So it’s less a case of actually replacing what he produced on the field as it is replacing his sheer athleticism.

CC: One of the biggest question marks on the KSU offense is at running back after having to replace John Hubert. Which running back is looking the strongest to fill the void this season?

JM: None of them, and that’s not a knock — at least not yet. The Wildcats did after all rack up 240 yards on the ground Saturday. No one person carried the ball for more than 55 yards — but that mark was hit by both Jake Waters and Charles Jones, and DeMarcus Robinson added another 49. Three OTHER guys had at least 20 yards on the ground. It’s still too early to tell, especially with Bill Snyder, whether this means K-State really is going with a committee approach or is just test-driving everyone to see how they perform in game situations.

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