Back in late February, the Texas Longhorns made an interesting addition to the support staff with the hire of former Kansas State Wildcats offensive coordinator Andre Coleman as a football analyst.
Coleman spent six years working under former head coach Bill Snyder in Manhattan, mostly as a wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator before calling plays last season. So his expertise is in the passing game, but it’s his knowledge of the unique Kansas State quarterback run game and the passing options built into that are the most intriguing.
Therefore, in addition to the run-pass options that former North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora could help Texas install, Coleman could also help head coach Tom Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck add some Kansas State-esque elements to the offense.
The first thing to understand is that Kansas State often utilized wider-than-normal splits by the offensive linemen to create natural running lanes for the quarterback and to ensure that the fullback could get through the line of scrimmage when necessary.
These splits are the type of adjustments that are unlikely to end up in the Texas playbook, which could effectively eliminate the plays relying on those splits from true consideration by the Longhorns staff.
The second thing to understand is that Kansas State doesn’t read defenders like the run-pass options utilized by most programs. Instead, the quarterback simply decides whether the intended receiver is open or not. Because these plays all utilize the quarterback as the runner, pinpoint timing isn’t as necessary and the footwork to make the throws isn’t as difficult to master.
During the 2014 season, as tracked by Taylor Kolste, Kansas State used run-pass options attached to four different running plays — QB Iso, QB Power, QB Draw, and QB Dart, the latter of which looks like an isolation play with a pulling back-side tackle. Texas uses QB Power fairly frequently, so attaching some of the Kansas State passing plays to that would be relatively simple. The QB Draw elements are also appealing.
The single most appealing run-pass option might be the Stick/Draw concept that West Virginia used against Texas last season with so much effectiveness, except the quarterback wasn’t providing a running threat — it was the running back instead.
With the running ability of starting quarterback Sam Ehlinger, however, the run-pass options utilized by the Wildcats to feature the quarterbacks in Manhattan make sense to consider.
Here’s Kansas State combining a seam pass with QB Power against Oklahoma in 2014, an easy and seemingly worthwhile addition to the Texas offense:
Probably the most recognizable play in the Kansas State arsenal was the QB Iso/F pop pass utilizing the program’s high-quality fullbacks like Glenn Gronkowski and Winston Dimel. Texas isn’t likely to use this particular play, but it is one of the most unique run-pass options used in college football.
Some of these concepts are just interesting to talk about during the offseason. However, the quarterback run elements fit with Ehlinger’s skill set and concepts already employed by the offense, especially passing plays attached to QB Power like the seam pass.