Kansas State quarterback Adrian Martinez knows he has a lot to adjust to in moving from the Big Ten to the Big 12.
But what’s the biggest adjustment he’ll have to make to Big 12 defenses?
It’s not individual players. It’s the schemes.
“The Big Ten is a 4-2-5 type structure and here in the Big 12 it’s a 3-3-5 structure,” Martinez said. “Most of the time you have a unique Jack position, which is kind of like an extra safety. So, watching that on film was definitely an adjustment for me because I’ve never seen something like that before. But luckily for me, I’ve got to watch it all spring and watch it day by day with our K-State defense.”
Earlier Wednesday, K-State head coach Chris Klieman said it was Martinez’s maturity that drew him to offering the four-year Nebraska veteran a scholarship to finish out his college career.
Martinez might be best equipped to replace another veteran quarterback, Skylar Thompson, who started 40 games, more than any K-State quarterback in history, and threw for more than 8,000 yards. Martinez amassed more than 10,000 yards rushing and passing with the Cornhuskers.
He also said he’s looking forward to the adjustments that offensive coordinator Collin Klein is making to the offense, including a faster pace that should allow the Wildcats more chances to possess the ball.
Kansas State is coming off a 2021 in which it went 8-5 overall and 4-5 in Big 12 action. The Wildcats reached the Texas Bowl, where they beat LSU, 42-20. That put the Wildcats at 20-16 after three seasons under Klieman.
The Wildcats are a trendy pick to be a potential spoiler in the Big 12 because they return 10 starters, chief among them running back Deuce Vaughn, who is perhaps the most versatile player in the league. He led Kansas State with 1,404 yards rushing with 18 touchdowns and caught another 49 passes with 468 yards and four touchdowns. His reception total led the team.
He, along with Kansas State pass rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah, give the Wildcats a pair of potential All-America candidates for 2022.
The Wildcats open the season on Sept. 3 at home against South Dakota, followed by home games with Missouri on Sept. 10 and Tulane on Sept. 17. Kansas State opens Big 12 play at Oklahoma on Sept. 24.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.