It’s been almost two weeks since Daniel Sams decided that he wanted to transfer out of the Kansas State Wildcats football program.
Sams was a major factor in the Wildcats 8-5 season in 2013 and his production will certainly be missed. Today, I wanted to focus on three key issues that the Sams transfer might effect for the wildcats this season.
1) The X-Factor:
Sams did play most of the year but, as the backup to Jake Waters. He did most of his work on the ground, running for over 800 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Sams did have the opportunity to get ahead in the quarterback battle when he got the call against Oklahoma State but had critical turnovers late in the game. Still, the Cats will miss his energy coming from the bench in 2014.
So many times last season, you got the feel that the intensity level would be turned all the way up once Sams entered game. His speed and ability to change the game for his team will also be missed. Sams nearly won the game against Baylor but, just like the OSU game, his late game turnovers were costly.
2) Offensive Weapon:
With the loss of Daniel Sams, the Kansas State Wildcats lost a big offensive weapon. He was one of three players returning that had scored a TD other than Waters, and Tyler Lockett. He also could have been a factor with the move to wide receiver which further defines his athletic ability.
It was going to take awhile but eventually Bill Snyder wanted Sams on the football field.
The move of Sams to wide out did not work out at all, and this fact closed the book on his short stay at Kansas State. Sams was open about playing receiver to earn more playing time but Snyder disagreed. Coach would’ve rather seen him switch to running back but Sams didn’t see that as a fit.
3) The Pressure:
With Sams going in a different direction, the focus going forward will be on Jake Waters.
With so much expectation surrounding him last season, Waters started off very slow before coming alive to help the Wildcats win five of their last six games. He was a key part of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory against Michigan, and he gave KSU fans something to hang their hats on.
Now going into his senior year, Waters has to be the guy to lead K-State. The biggest question surrounding him is if he can carry that momentum from last year to this season. If Waters starts off slow again, he will be right back on the hot seat just like last season.
But perhaps what was holding Waters back was the pressure of Sams abilities coming off the bench. With no Daniel Sams in the picture, all eyes will be looking at Waters do to bigger things.
At the end of the day, Coach Snyder knows what he’s doing.
Since returning in 2009 he has won almost two-thirds of his games (42 total, and has two-hundred career victories within sight at a school that had only 299 in its history when he took over in 1989. In other words, “In Snyder We Trust.”
Does the Sams transfer hurt? Yes, his ability to carry the football was better than any other quarterback in the Big XII last season and that won’t be easily replaced.
Does it cripple them completely for 2014? No, the Wildcats have talent on offense and a viable option at quarterback with Waters.
We’ll just have to see how it all works out.
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