There’s an old football saying “if you have two starting quarterbacks, you do not have one.” For the most part, this has always been a valid point. However, there have been cases where there have been two-quarterback systems that have worked.
Since Collin Klein’s last game, everyone knew that there would be competition to see who the new Wildcat signal caller would be. Sophomore quarterback Daniel Sams competed with junior college transfer Jake Waters for the starting job. Waters ultimately won the job and started the first two games of this season. However, we are beginning to see Sams gradually get more playing time as well.
In today’s game of football it is common to see egos clash, especially when it comes to something like being the starting quarterback. However, this is not something that has been seen from the two Wildcat quarterbacks. Sams and Waters were roommates in fall camp and have developed a strong friendship.
“As a coach and as a person, I have truly appreciated the fact that they root for each other and help each other out because that is what teammates are really all about,” said K-State head coach Bill Snyder. “We have always talked about being a good teammate and they both treat each other with respect and are good guys and handle the situation as well as you possibly could.”
Not only does Snyder believe that the two can coexist, but both quarterbacks think the same. At the beginning of the season, both Waters and Sams said that this would not be a “dog eat dog” competition.
“I think it can work,” Waters said. “You just have to use us right and [the coaches] are and they did tonight. With Daniel coming with that change of pace, it really gave us that spark that we needed.”
Through his first two games as the starting quarterback, Waters has completed almost 72 percent of his passes for 558 yards and two touchdowns. He has also rushed for a touchdown and thrown four interceptions. For the most part Waters looks very promising and brings a new dimension to the offense of being able to throw the ball around.
However, there is no question that Sams brings a new and different element to the team. With the ability to chew up yards on the ground like a running back, Sams is the perfect quarterback for those designed quarterback run situations, which he has done well in so far. Through two games, Sams is averaging eight yards per carry, while scoring two touchdowns.
Both quarterbacks have shown that they can be successful both in running and passing the ball. Last week, Sams completed a pass for a 27 yard gain while Waters ran for a touchdown.
Quarterback is a position where rhythm is crucial. One of the toughest parts about using two quarterbacks is the fact that one has to sit while the other is on the field. Also, when one begins to finally feel comfortable on the field, he could get switched out at any moment. However, both quarterbacks know that it is all about the team, not the individual and this is how they believe it will work.
“It is all about winning and the team,” Waters said. “If you have that mindset, it is easy to handle. When I am out there, I am the guy and it is my team, and when he is out there, it is his team and he is the guy. We know that we both want what is best for the team and that is where we are heading.”
Last season, Notre Dame used a two quarterback system that worked out. The Fighting Irish made it all the way to the National Championship game. That is just the most recent example, but there have been multiple teams in the past that have used it. The Wildcats are in the situation to use a two-quarterback system and with the legend that is Snyder on the sideline, anything is possible.