Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein has rushed to the front of the informal Heisman polls.
Rushed and passed to the front.
OSU coach Mike Gundy said the biggest difference in watching Klein on film this season versus last is his arm.
“It looks like to me that he's worked really hard in the offseason on his accuracy on his downfield throw,” Gundy said. “Give him the time, and his accuracy is considerably better, in my opinion, than it would have been over a year ago.”
The statistics back it up. This season, Klein is completing nearly 71 percent of his passes, a huge jump from 57.3 percent a year ago.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young admitted that Klein has an “awkward” throwing motion, but that the ball gets to the right spot at the right time.
Gundy also noted Klein can do more with his legs than those power runs in the middle of the field.
“You see him (on highlights) in goal-line and short-yardage, where he makes some runs where he just runs over people,” Gundy said. “But if you watch the rest of the game, you'll see that he slithers and slides and he's a lot more deceiving in the open field than what you see on the highlights.”
Overall, Klein has accounted for 1,630 passing yards, 634 rushing yards and 28 total touchdowns.
OPPONENT WATCH: K-STATE LB DONE?
Kansas State starting linebacker Tre Walker, a key figure in the Wildcats' dominant defense, seems likely to miss Saturday's game against OSU, if not longer, even the remainder of the season.
Walker tweeted on Tuesday that he was on crutches and teammates tweeting made it sound like the knee injury suffered in last week's win over Texas Tech might be serious.
Wildcats fullback Braden Wilson tweeted that it was a “sad deal.” Wide receiver Curry Sexton said on Twitter that there were “no doubts that you'll see Tre back out there next August.”
Through eight games, Walker had 52 tackles.
'CATS A YEAR WISER
OSU and K-State produced a wild and entertaining game a year ago, with the Cowboys finally prevailing 52-45 at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The Cowboys scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:16 remaining, then held on in the final seconds.
It was a tough loss for the Wildcats.
But also a learning experience.
“It was just another game that showed that we could play with those top teams last year,” Wilson said. “And even though it was a loss and that it really hurt, it boosted our confidence a little bit in that respect.”
SNYDER NOTES COWBOYS' BALANCE
K-State coach Bill Snyder said this week that he notices OSU's improvement on defense.
And overall, he said, that makes for a balanced team to contend with.
“They are up in the rankings in our conference in defense,” he said. “Their specialists are as good as you can get. They rank high nationally in some facets of the kicking team. They rank high nationally in all aspects of offense.
“They have tremendous balance. And that has been brought upon, perhaps, by the improvement in each of those areas of their defense.”
By John Helsley and Gina Mizell