MANHATTAN — Alex Delton helped Kansas State throw a scare into Oklahoma on Saturday, but the sophomore quarterback won’t start against Kansas if Jesse Ertz is healthy enough to play.
“As far as who the starter will be this week, it would be Jesse if he is 100 percent healthy,” K-State football coach Bill Snyder said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference, “which we anticipate that he will be.”
Ertz, a senior, has missed the past two games with a knee injury. Last week, he dressed and warmed up for a 26-6 loss to TCU, but ultimately watched every play with K-State’s reserves. Over the weekend, he wasn’t on the sideline for a 42-35 loss to Oklahoma. But he started all 13 games last season and the first five this season.
Some wondered if Delton’s impressive effort against the Sooners, which featured 144 yards and a touchdown passing on top of 142 yards and three touchdowns rushing, was worthy of a promotion on the depth chart. But Snyder says the starting job still belongs to Ertz.
“Jesse is healthier now,” Snyder said. “... He is back on his feet and going pretty well right now.”
With Ertz at quarterback, the Wildcats started 3-2. He has thrown for 930 yards and seven touchdowns this season, while also running for 336 yards and three touchdowns.
Delton took over for Ertz late during a 40-34 overtime loss at Texas. His season statistics: 320 passing yards, 283 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.
Snyder has been pleased with Delton’s development. He has a positive outlook on K-State’s quarterback situation, regardless of who starts each game.
“It just allows me to feel as though we have two good young guys at the position,” Snyder said. “We can feel comfortable with either one of them.”
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield looked sharp against K-State, amassing 479 total yards and scoring four touchdowns in a come-from-behind victory.
But OU coach Lincoln Riley said Monday that Mayfield didn’t practice at all last week and played through a shoulder injury.
It seemed bizarre when the Sooners moved Mayfield to receiver on several plays and let backup Kyler Murray run out of the wildcat formation against K-State, but Riley said those plays were called to help take some workload away from Mayfield.