Sports Extra: Klein the Model QB for Snyder

Collin Klein threw for a season-high 195 yards during last Saturday's 59-21 win at KU.

Oct. 28, 2011

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By Mark Janssen

Collin Klein is Bill Snyder’s perfect quarterback.

He’s tough, he’s a leader, he’s consistent with his arm and feet, and he talks … well, like coach Snyder talks.

Just listen:
• “At this point, we just need to keep focus on the next step, and there will be a time where we can look back and see that it has been pretty special, but it is not over yet.”

• “The job is not done and we have to make sure that we keep our nose to the grindstone and not look too far ahead or back behind to distract us.”

• “I would say it (his game) is improving. It is one of those deals where I can tell you more at the end of the season when everything is said and done. I have been able to make some improvements, but I still have a lot of room to improve.”

• “There is a focus that we need to have that there is better out there and it is just about going out and getting it.”

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound junior does admit, “It’s been an awesome journey so far. We have really come together in a very special way, but I know that we can have continued improvement.”

Klein’s consistency is best shown in his running ability as he has rushed for between 78 and 139 yards in six of the seven games played. And in the last six games, he has rushed for 14 touchdowns.

Add to that an ever improving passing arm that has shown Klein hurling the football for between 128 and 195 yards in five of the seven games with eight TDs to only three interceptions. Oh yes, his completion rate is a solid 59 percent.

With just nine starts in his career, the Loveland, Colo., native has engineered an offense that leads the Big 12 in time of possession (34:50) and converts 49 percent of its third-down plays. Personally, Klein ranks fourth in the nation in scoring (12.0 points per game) as he leads all conference rushers in touchdowns scored with 14.

Oh, there’s more.

Klein has rushed for 1,094 yards in his career, which ranks 21st in K-State history, and third among all quarterbacks. Ell Roberson rushed for 2,818 yards and Michael Bishop for 1,314 yards. Klein’s current average of 95.7 rushing yards per game ranks sixth in the Big 12 Conference.

Oklahoma defensive back Aaron Colvin says of Klein, "Their quarterback is an excellent athlete. He plays hard, plays physical, and they have a little bit more of an old-school mentality. They are going to try to beat you up front and just outwork you."

Klein credits his overall success to “…great teammates across the board, great schemes, time in the film room and great coaching in coach Snyder and coach (Del, quarterback coach) Miller.”

He adds, “Through that preparation you make those game decisions without the pressure on you, so when the pressure does come, it makes it easier to make the correct decision in the big moment.”

Klein says that the opening game struggles when K-State scored only 10 points against Eastern Kentucky, and the fact that the Wildcats have had to come from behind in four games has kept the team  humble.

“Those are vivid in my memory and remind me that we have a long way to go,” said Klein. “We have a lot to improve on. That keeps us hungry.”

And if that does not feed the hunger, then constantly being an underdog does.

This week, the 7-0 and No. 10 Wildcats will be playing at Bill Snyder Family Stadium against the 6-1 and No. 11 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

Of being the underdog against Miami, Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech, and now Oklahoma, Klein grins as he says,
“I’m all for it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a constant reminder of how we’ve come together and need to continue to play as a family.”

Bill Snyder couldn’t have said it any better.

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