KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Just when it appeared as if Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was settling on one quarterback, Jake Waters came back with gusto on Saturday.
So did the Wildcats, for that matter.
Waters completed 10 of 13 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-12 rout of West Virginia that gave the defending Big 12 champions their first conference win of the year. Waters also ran for 55 yards in proving that you can never quite count him out.
“I am proud of him,” Snyder said. “When things do not go your way that is what you are supposed to do. We are all supposed to do that. That is what life is all about. I think it will be meaningful and beneficial to him. It will benefit him 20 years from now.”
It certainly benefited the Wildcats (3-4, 1-3) on Saturday.
Waters, a record-setting junior college transfer, began the season as the clear starter, but he had struggled throughout the start of conference play. His confidence appeared to be shaken as he tried to run a modified version of the option-style offense that Snyder tends to favor.
Meanwhile, run-first quarterback Daniel Sams seemed to seize control of the starting job, gaining nearly 200 yards on the ground in a competitive loss to Baylor.
An electrifying ability to elude defenders in the open field also made him a fan favorite.
It’s not as if Sams did anything to hurt his chances of playing against the Mountaineers, either. He was 8 for 8 for 93 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for 16 yards.
But whenever Waters was in the game Saturday, the offense seemed to be humming.
“The whole second half we played well as a team, when we got that kind of time from the offensive line,” Waters said. “When we have our wide receivers getting open, John (Hubert) running the ball and Daniel coming in to run the ball, it really opens up our offense tremendously.”