The Kansas State Wildcats have struggled early in the 2013 season but came to play against the high-flying offense of the Baylor Bears. It’s clear that nobody can truly shut down this Baylor attack right now, so it was important for K-State to find some offense to try and keep pace. With the defense doing its part and holding the Baylor offense largely in check, it was quarterback Daniel Sams who stepped up and provided a major spark for the Wildcats and gave them a chance to upend the hottest team in college football.
Sams came off the bench on Saturday and put his mark on the game quickly. He provided consistent production on the ground, leading the Cats on a scoring drive in the second quarter, finishing it off with a 1-yard rush, to cut the Baylor lead to 21-10 at the half. In the third quarter, he kept the momentum going with the help of some phenomenal plays from the KSU defense and scored 15-unanswered to take a 25-21 lead to start the fourth quarter. Sams finished off both touchdown drives himself with tough, short-yardage runs.
He finished the day with 30 rushes for 199 yards and three scores and was nearly unstoppable when he ran with the ball. Not so much when passing, though, as he finished completing just four of seven passes for 41 yards and an interception that sealed the game for Baylor late in the fourth quarter. He might have made the final mistake which ended the team’s chance of stealing the win but he was the only reason that the Cats generated enough offense for them to be in the game in the first place, accounting for 231 of the team’s 444 yards and scoring all of their touchdowns.
It’s clear that this is not the Kansas State team who won the Big 12 title last season, but Sams looks like he has the skill set to provide some kind of spark to the K-State offense. His ability to make plays with his legs, even in a loss, should earn him a more prominent role in the offense going forward.