Wildcat First Down: Being Bill-lingual Derek Larson October 7, 2013 Features, Wildcat First Down I had a great introduction for this column. It was insightful, witty, and pretty much would have revolutionized writing as we know it… Unfortunately, it was all negated when four members of my offensive line false-started. Such is the life of a K-State fan at the moment. The Wildcats had their chances in the 33-29 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday (a game that the Cowboys were favored to win by more than two touchdowns), but penalties and turnovers proved too much, leaving the Wildcats with little more than a 2-3 record and a head coach searching for answers. With that in mind, we look to translate some of Coach Bill Snyder’s post-game comments. Thanks to kstatesports.com for the quotes, and thanks to years of sarcasm and cynicism for the rest. On nearly overcoming 12 penalties and five turnovers to win the game… “It’s difficult, as it always would be. In our history, we just have not been that kind of a football team. I mean, we haven’t always been extremely good, but we haven’t always turned the ball over and we haven’t always been penalized. We had a chance to win even with it, like you said, but it sure makes it a heck of a lot harder.” Translation… We’re playing dumb football, and I’m really not sure why. Seriously, I’ve had teams as athletic as most folks in my 70+ age bracket and we put up a good fight because we played smart football. Today, despite decent talent, we jump before snaps as if we’re late for dinner. And please don’t get me started on the idea of tossing the football FORWARD after fielding a kickoff… On the defense’s ability to make key stops and keep OSU out of the end zone… “I was really pleased with the effort and what they did in the second half of the ballgame. I thought that early in the ballgame, we had some real issues, but they got them corrected. Some of the things that hurt us in the first half of the ballgame, we were able to better defend in the second half.” Translation… The defense saved us. They saved us several times in the second half. After turnovers, they kept Oklahoma State out of the end zone. They forced turnovers. They looked like a team strength, rather than the huge question mark that they have been early in the season. And, with Baylor coming in next week, we’ll need it… Good lord, we’ll need it. On quarterback Daniel Sams’ performance… “Well, the good things we all saw, and the bad things we all saw. It was just exactly like we saw it. We started him because we were trying to do some things that we knew he could do and get him invested collectively in the ballgame. As you can see, he came in and threw the ball just fine. I certainly don’t like the interception. Aside from that, he was throwing the ball well early in the ballgame, which gave him a chance to be the balanced-type quarterback that we want him to be and that we know he is capable of being.” Translation… Nothing is settled. Yes, Sams can run, and we all knew that. Sams can pass a little too, and while we haven’t featured that yet this year, it was about what we expected. He’s never going to be Joe Montana, and he still doesn’t pass as well as Jake Waters. That’s why QB hot potato continues. Who’s taking snaps on Saturday? Don’t bother attempting to guess. So, that’s that. The Wildcats are winless in conference play with a Baylor Bear team that’s currently averaging 534 points per game (number approximate) heading into Manhattan next Saturday. Current trends may not point to many positive signs, but they can be found if you squint a bit. The defense is improving (as always happens with Snyder teams), and the offense showed the capability of moving the ball a bit, even without its two top options available at wide receiver. There’s potential for this squad to turn things around… But it all starts with moving five yards forward instead of five yards. back.