Big 12 spring game recap: Kansas State

What happened:

  • Carson Coffman threw seven touchdowns and the Purple team won, 79-0.

  • Worth noting, the Purple team technically won 41-38 after its 38-0 halftime lead was reversed.

  • 16,326 fans attended.

What we learned:

  • My goodness, Carson Coffman. As you read last week, he was trying to solidify his spot as the starter after he lost both the fans' confidence and his own with a poor performance last season. After a spring capped by his seven-touchdown, 440-yard performance on 38 of 51 passing, consider the confidence restored. "I wanted to go out today and take hold of the quarterback spot," Coffman said after the game. “I think I did that.” No kidding. He threw two touchdowns, both in the opening game, all last season. On Saturday, he threw five in the first half.

  • Collin Klein's absence only strengthened Coffman's statement. Coffman's main competition for the job, Klein sat with a minor injury. Undisclosed, of course. Unlike Bill Snyder's.

  • Can't really overreact to Coffman's performance, which came against a second-team defense, but last season Coffman started against UMass and Louisiana-Lafayette, and didn't exactly light up the scoreboard. The defense also couldn't blitz, but a performance like that against anyone is a good sign. Consider Coffman officially the heavy favorite entering fall. “He commanded the respect of all of us as a leader,” senior center Wade Weibert said. “You could tell it in the huddle. He called plays so confidently that we just looked at each other and said, ‘All right, let’s go.’”

  • Kansas State might have one of the most-improved units in the conference at wide receiver. Brandon Banks was a fantastic kick returner, but an underwhelming receiver in 2009 after notching 1,000 receiving yards in 2008. The inconsistent quarterback play didn't help, but there's only so much a 5-foot-7 guy can do when his quarterback can't get him the ball. Now, presumably Coffman has Aubrey Quarles returning from a redshirt year and two transfers in Brodrick Smith (6-foot-2) from Minnesota and Chris Harper (6-foot-3) from Oregon. Smith caught 12 passes for 167 yards, and Quarles caught nine passes for 105 yards and a score. One of Smith's touchdowns was on a fade route, which could be a nice option in the red zone for the Wildcats, one that Banks couldn't provide.

  • Quietly solid day for Daniel Thomas against the second-teamers: 16 carries, 118 yards. Hard to earn much ink in a spring game when everyone knows what you can do and your quarterback does what Coffman did.

  • 79-0? Not a good sign for the depth on either side for the Wildcats.

  • Not much to say about the defense other than a shutout against anyone is a good sign. Safety Troy Butler had a game-high eight tackles and two interceptions.

They said it:

“He threw it half a hundred times, and for the most part he played well.”

-- Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, steering clear of hyperbole while evaluating Carson Coffman's performance.