June 8, 2018 8:07:44 AM
Every day from 99 days out (May 25) until kickoff, I'll put up a post telling you how many days until kickoff and breaking down something about the upcoming season related to that number.
Today, since we are 98 days away from kickoff, we take a look at: Kansas State may be getting a new starting QB this year, but if it turns out to be Alex Delton, he won't be all that new: he got 85 pass attempts last year. Let's see what we learned in those attempts.
Let's start this off by giving you the basic numbers: he played in seven games last year, going 49-85 for 637 yards (7.49 yards per attempt), three touchdowns and two interceptions. That's clearly not a ton to work on, but I did get to see a few things when I went back and watched some of his games -- which were primarily the TCU, Oklahoma and Texas Tech games.
The first thing you see is the formations: some Pistol and Shotgun stuff, which brings to my mind what Kansas State did with Collin Klein, the quarterback they ran almost all the way to a Heisman Trophy. They used Delton in that way, too, with some inside/power quarterback run stuff and running their usual Kansas State schemes out of those Shotgun/Pistol formations so they don't sacrifice who they are but still keep defenses thinking of the QB run threat.
In the bits and pieces I saw of him, it was pretty clear that Delton knew where to go with the ball -- to the point that he might have been telegraphing his throws a bit. Remember, I didn't come close to watching all 85 attempts, but I can't remember an attempt in which I didn't know exactly where the ball was going before he threw it.
Let me get my negative notes out of the way now: I'm not 100 percent sold on his arm strength, either. I would see things in his motion where it sure looks like he's putting everything he has into a ball and it still doesn't quite zip out of his hand. He throws a nice looking ball, let that be known, but there were definitely times where some jerkiness in his motion suggested he was going into overdrive and the ball didn't have the speed that I would expect it to have in that situation.
I will give Delton credit in that he seems like someone who can make a lot of throws on command. Naturally when one runs an offense like Kansas State's, there's going to be some pressure on downfield passing, and he showed flashes of delivering the type of ball the situation needed. Against Oklahoma, he let loose a driving deep ball to an exact spot, letting his receiver meet the ball at the spot, and released a floating one over a defense sucked in by playaction.
Let's wrap it up with this: all of the reports out of Manhattan make it seem pretty clear that this battle will last for quite a while, so there's no guarantee that MSU sees Delton in the starting capacity or any other. However, it's also easy to say that if MSU sees Delton, he won't be the worst QB the Bulldogs see this season, and there's reason to believe he can be capable.
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson