Overlooked & Underplayed: Collin Klein's Ability To Pass

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 24: Quarterback Collin Klein #7 of the Kansas State University Wildcats huddles with teammates after a 28 - 24 win against the Miami Hurricanes September 24, 2011 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Early on the Kansas St. Wildcats were labeled as a dark-horse contender for the Big XII substantially behind the Oklahoma Sooners. The role they have assumed is no different than last season with the exception of the fact that many have them circled on the schedule in a revenge game.

There is no name that has been thrown out more this week than that of Kansas St. QB, Collin Klein. He is the most valuable piece of the zone read offense Bill Snyder and Co. have employed and could trust himself into a Heisman favorite if he comes up big against Oklahoma.

While, much of the talk has centered around just that...his ability to run the football, there is another aspect of his game that is being overlooked.

Kansas St. came into the season ranked but struggled at times against Missouri St. as well as North Texas before rattling off a few touchdowns to seal the game. The defining moment of the Wildcat team came against a rebuilding Miami Hurricanes squad.

Not many college football fans and experts expected the Wildcats to come in and dominate the Hurricanes. What took place was an absolute beating by K-State in every aspect of the game on Miami. The potential of what this Wildcat team is capable of took center stage and now has many Big XII opponents back at the drawing board. Yet, there is a single aspect of the K-State offense that should have opposing defenses a bit more worried and it is not the rushing attack.

Year

G

Att

Comp

%

Yards

Yards/Att

TD

INT

Att/G

Yards/G

Collin Klein

Sr.

3

59

43

72.9

609

10.3

5

2

19.7

203.0

Jr.

13

281

161

57.3

1918

6.8

13

6

21.6

147.5

The stats here tell the story. Through three games, Klein has thrown quite successfully at a completion rate of 72.9% this season. This is a significant improvement upon his 57.3% from just a season ago. To couple that with the fact that every pass caught is going for nearly 4 more yards and 50 yards per game than the previous year could mean that Klein's arm has been overlooked.

I anticipate the Oklahoma Sooners defense to leave Demontre Hurst and Aaron Colvin out on an island while they sell out to stop the run. The maturity and leadership of a player like Klein make him a tough opponent but the thought is to force K-State to throw the ball to win.

Let's take a quick look at who Klein is throwing to.

Name Yr Pos G Rec. Yards Avg. TD Rec./G Yards/G
1 Tramaine Thompson JR WR 3 13 211 16.23 3 4.3 70.3
2 Chris Harper SR WR 3 9 115 12.78 1 3.0 38.3
3 Tyler Lockett SO WR 3 6 71 11.83 0 2.0 23.7
4 Zach Trujillo SO TE 3 1 58 58.00 0 0.3 19.3
5 Curry Sexton SO WR 3 4 55 13.75 1 1.3 18.3
6 Travis Tannahill SR TE 2 2 50 25.00 0 1.0 25.0
7 John Hubert JR RB 3 6 24 4.00 0 2.0 8.0
8 Braden Wilson SR RB 3 1 23 23.00 0 0.3 7.7
9 Angelo Pease SR RB 2 1 2 2.00 0 0.5 1.0
Total 3 43 609 14.16 5 14.3 203.0

Thompson is going to take the roll of security blanket here with Klein. But, don't be fooled into think Klein is afraid to spread the ball around to others. Harper and of course a Lockett will be involved in the game plan. Hubert will be a major threat in the run game but will often go out for a pass after play action.

The conclusion is that while Klein has a hitch in his throwing motion, he has been effective. It is when the running game is clicking that they can hurt opposing defenses who sell out to the stop the run and end up a victim to the play action. Oklahoma has aggressive defenders who like to play close to the line of scrimmage in safeties Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris. This could be an exploitation of problems that existed last season as Sooner fans watch a ball sail over the top of the defense to an open receiver.

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