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Wildcats Demonstrating Their Versatility

By Mark Janssen

The norm is that nine games into a season, positions are pretty well established.
 
Oh, there's flipping first- and second-teamers on occasion, and doors are constantly opening for others due to injury, but going from offense to defense nine games into a season is pretty unusual. And when it happens, it's usually a cornerback/receiver double.

But in K-State's 39-14 victory over Texas Saturday, Prizell Brown was moved from defensive tackle to defensive end, which cracked the door for the opportunity for a couple of offensive guys - fullback Braden Wilson and center Trevor Viers - to get a look-see along the defensive front.
 
While saying that neither move was intended to be anything close to permanent, Snyder said, "They are both capable of spending some time over there (defense)."
 
Of the move of Wilson, Snyder said it was toyed with during the spring, and "... a bit during two-a-days, but not much after that."
 
Wilson said the move to defense restarted last week and admitted, "I didn't have a lot to say about it. The coaches came in and said I was going to work a little with the defense. It was pretty fun."
 
As a 6-foot-3, 254-pound fullback, Wilson has good size. But as a defensive lineman, he's 30 to 40 pounds undersized.
 
"I have to survive using some quickness," said Wilson, who joined the 6-5, 292-pound Viers for one defensive series.
 
A former defensive end at Smith Center (Kan.) High School, Wilson admitted, "I was a little rusty, but it was pretty fun. We're all out there trying to do whatever we can do to contribute to wins."
 
On the move of Brown from tackle to end, Snyder said, "It was an effort to get the best four on the field at the right position. He likes to play out there, and it gives us the ability to have a little more flexibility in terms of where players can play because we do not have a great deal of depth."
 
In the current rotation of tackles are Raphael Guidry, Ray Kibble and Payton Kirk and Viers, while it's now Brandon Harold, Antonio Felder, Brown and Wilson working at the ends.
 
In the last five games, they have collectively scored just three tackles for a loss and have only one quarterback sack. 
 
Still, Snyder said of the Texas game, "There's always a reason why certain things happen. Our pass rush, even though it got just one sack, it did have an impact on more than one of those (five) interceptions. The rush has become a little more productive. The bottom line is that we have gotten better. It may not show up statistically in sacks, but we are improving."
 
COFFMAN-KLEIN: "We'll flip a coin. Who do you want (to start)?" Snyder quipped when asked about who the starting quarterback could be for Saturday's Missouri game ... Carson Coffman or Collin Klein.
 
Snyder did say that Coffman was "... pretty much back to full strength (from an injury), which was part of it (Klein starting) last week."
 
As for Klein, he admitted to being a little sore after Saturday's game, but in looking forward, he said, "I think I am going to prepare hard like I have been. But honestly, coach (Del) Miller has done a fine job, even when I have been backing up, that I felt prepared and I have known the game plans. So I just have to be prepared whether I am going to start or not."
 
He added, "I'll be ready and prepared for anything. Every week has its twists and turns."
 
When Daniel Thomas had his turn at the quarterbacking question, he answered as he was taught: "I'm not sure."
 
HREBEC: Asked as to whether linebacker Alex Hrebec would start, Snyder would only offer: "Don't know ... have to ask him."
 
K-State's leading tackler suffered an arm injury against the Longhorns and did not attend Tuesday's weekly media day.
 
HOW THE 'CATS RANK: K-State's William Powell continues to lead the Big 12 and the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 34.57 yards per take-back.
 
Daniel Thomas' rushing average of 122.4 yards per game ranks second in the league and seventh nationally.
 
As a team, K-State's rushing average of 201 yards per game ranks second in the league and 22nd nationally.
 
In the Red Zone, K-State has converted 90 percent of its opportunities to rank 12th nationally.
 
PATERNO: Snyder acknowledged that he called to congratulate Penn State's Joe Paterno for collecting his historic 400th victory on Saturday.
 
"I told him that I could catch him (in victories) in the next 169 years," said Snyder. "That's an amazing number, but Joe has not remained at Penn State to win 400 games. He's there for the university and the players he has working with him. He's there because of his love for the game."