Oklahoma football: Running K-State quarterback Collin Klein making more plays with his arm

JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — Kansas State isn't throwing more this season. Its quarterback is just throwing it better this season. Wildcats QB Collin Klein has obviously worked on his throwing ability in the offseason and it's something the Sooners are going to have to keep their eye on.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: September 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm •  Published: September 17, 2012

Granted, we're not talking about the Miami of old. This isn't the program that won championships in bunches and struck fear into opponents. But the Hurricanes still have plenty of capable players.

And Klein had his way with them.

Here's how good a day he was having: Wildcat coach Bill Snyder allowed Klein to attempt a no-look, behind-the back pass. Didn't work — Klein fumbled, and a receiver had to corral the ball for a big loss — but the fact that the straight-as-an-arrow coach even let his quarterback try it was significant. It shows how much he believes in Klein.

“Collin is a young fella that works diligently every single day of his life to improve everything,” Snyder said. “When it's relative to football, it's not just trying to improve his passing game. He tries to improve his management of the game, tries to improve his understanding of the offensive and defensive schemes as well as his execution in the running game and passing game.

“He tries to do it all.”

As talk swirls about Klein becoming a Heisman Trophy contender and these Wildcats being the best team under Bill Snyder, it's obvious that their quarterback drives them.

This past Saturday, K-State found itself in a closer-than-expected game against North Texas. After the Mean Green scored a touchdown to start the second half and pulled to within a point, the Wildcats could've panicked.

Or at the very least, they could've gone to their strength and run the ball.

Instead, Klein threw the ball on the first three plays of the next drive. All told, he completed 4 of 5 passes for 68 yards on the drive, including a 21-yard touchdown.

“He's throwing it well,” Bob Stoops said, “which isn't surprising as he progresses and gets older.”

Washington said, “With experience, you're going to get better. With added confidence, you're going to make throws that you might not have made.

“It's a big test.”

One of the last times OU faced a bruising running quarterback who had enough skill in his passing game to hurt defenses was the national championship game against Florida. Gators quarterback Tim Tebow rushed for 109 yards that night but threw for the game-winning touchdown.

Tebow is now in the Big Apple, but as the video and the statistics warn, the Sooners best be ready on Saturday.

The Tebow of the Little Apple is coming to town.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125 or at jcarlson@opubco.com. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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