Skylar Thompson lost his first college start over the weekend, 28-23 to West Virginia, but Bill Snyder thinks the game was “a great experience” for the Kansas State quarterback.
“He didn’t play poorly in this past ballgame,” Snyder said Monday during the Big 12 coaches teleconference. “A number of the mistakes that through the visible eye might be directed toward him, he really had some help with. All of it wasn’t on his shoulders. It was a great experience to have the opportunity to start.”
Thompson, a redshirt freshman, completed 13 of 26 passes for 159 yards on top of rushing for 53 yards. His mistakes included two interceptions.
K-State fans have seen Thompson play in five games this season, and he mostly excelled before Saturday. He led the Wildcats to a pair of victories while replacing Alex Delton throughout the second half of games against Kansas and Texas Tech, even engineering a fourth-quarter comeback against the Red Raiders.
But this was a new kind of pressure for him.
“When you’re coming in off the bench your Friday nights aren’t as sleepless for you as they are when you’re going to make your very first start,” Snyder said. “So I’m sure some of that was a carryover from being on the field as a starter for the first time. Again, I don’t think he played poorly. Obviously, he played better in the previous two outings but it was just an excellent experience for him.”
Snyder wouldn’t commit to Thompson as K-State’s starter against Oklahoma State later this week, but all signs point to him staying in command of the offense.
Jesse Ertz has missed the past five games with a knee injury and Delton was knocked out of consecutive games with concussion-like symptoms. Thompson appears to be the best and healthiest QB option.
Perhaps starting against the Mountaineers will help him against the Cowboys.
“Skylar is kind of a young pup,” Snyder said, “and he had the previous two ballgames in which he played maybe a half of the ballgame, or so, and in this one he had to start, and the experience is great for him.”
Too much looking ahead
At 5-5, Kansas State sits one victory shy of bowl eligibility. Snyder says the Wildcats are well aware of that, but he would rather players focus on other things.
“We probably spent too much of this season looking forward, as opposed to looking at present day,” Snyder said. “Bowls aren’t going to be there if you don’t do the things that you have to do on a daily basis in order to play well on Saturday. That hopefully would be our focus today and here on out.”
Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has an interesting opinion on K-State’s defensive schemes.
He thinks they resemble the same looks he saw as an OSU quarterback in 1989, Snyder’s first year at K-State.
“It’s essentially the same scheme they were running when I was playing,” Gundy said.
K-State and Oklahoma State will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Wildcats will then host Iowa State on Nov. 25 at either 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. The Big 12’s television networks will choose an official time on Sunday.