COMMENTARY: Will Collin Klein pose threat to ISU defense?


Photo: Jake Lovett/Iowa State Daily

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein tries to evade an ISU defender in the third quarter of the No. 11 Wildcats’ 30-23 win over Iowa State on Saturday, Dec. 3, in Manhattan, Kan. Klein ran 26 times for 86 yards and a touchdown in the win.

Stephen Koenigsfeld

It’s a quarterback-scrambling conference.

Of the 10 starting quarterbacks, Kansas State’s Collin Klein leads the Big 12 with almost four times the rushing yards as the second-place rushing quarterback, Texas Christian’s Trevone Boykin.

This statistic says a couple of things:

First of all, Klein’s rushing statistic of 405 yards and seven touchdowns in the Wildcats’ first five games is enough to put him just 122 rushing yards behind their starting running back, John Hubert.

Secondly, Boykin made his quarterback debut against the Cyclones on Oct. 6. In that game alone, he rushed 14 times for 63 yards. That was enough to put him at 161 yards on the season and second in the Big 12.

On the flip side, this means a couple of things for Iowa State.

Steele Jantz started the first four games for Iowa State, rushing 54 times for 85 yards, which would put him at fifth in the Big 12. 

Jared Barnett made his debut as a starter at TCU on Oct. 6 as well, and has kept the ball 12 times for just 45 yards this season, placing him seventh in the conference. 

When the numbers are put together, the two teams make for quite a game.

Iowa State has the 30th-ranked rush defense in the nation compared to the Wildcats’ No. 9 rushing offense in the nation. The Cyclones were able to force five turnovers against TCU on Saturday, and Klein has been able to put the ball into the end zone seven times this season.

While the Wildcats have been able to put up 43.6 points per game — 11th in the nation — the Cyclones have been able to hold opponents to just 15.8 points per game, ranking 19th in the nation.

Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said it’s going to be tough to stop the statistically best rushing quarterback in the Big 12.

“You’ve got to outnumber him, you have to get more people down there and block accurately,” Burnham said. “But you still have to play pass defense; you’ve got to have a mixed bag.”

In the first five games this season, the ISU defense has forced 18 turnovers and returned two of them for touchdowns. 

When all is said and done, Burnham said Kansas State is able to score a lot of points, whether they are through the air or on the ground.

“They run, run, run. … It’s like old school football,” Burnham said. “There’s experience and style. And that’s what makes it so difficult.”

When you put it all together, fans are going to get a good, ol’ fashioned “Farmageddon.”

Stephen Koenigsfeld is a sophomore in pre-journalism from Ankeny, Iowa.