Neither opposing defense nor weather has stopped the Kansas State Wildcats from putting up points in bunches the past two weeks.
With 63 against Florida Atlantic and 35 in two quarters against Missouri State, there have been plenty of scoring chances for everyone.
Well, more so for one more than others.
After scoring six touchdowns in the past two games and matching his total from 2015, sophomore fullback Winston Dimel has bulldozed his way to the top of the Big 12 scoring list and is tied for 13th in Division I FBS – averaging 12 points per game. Through three games, he has 60 percent of K-State’s 10 rushing touchdowns. Nobody else has more than one.
Usually, this would just be kind of fun and worth celebrating the fullback still has a place in a college game bastardized by things like Kliff Kingsbury. But, this situation has a slight film on it to me, maybe because I’ve been on teams in my life where you knew plays were called because so-and-so was a coach’s favorite or a coach’s son. And, I know the reaction to those situations in those locker rooms were never a unanimous “it’s all good.”
The hard part about all of this, of course, is that calling Dimel’s number largely has worked the past two games. His success, plus the lopsided scores, have left some fans asking me why I would question something that’s worked so well. Usually, I would 100-percent agree with that line of thinking. However, that the calls worked isn’t really applicable here because any call should work against K-State’s recent opponents, and that’s the point: If you know that, why not spread the love?
In three games, the Charles Jones/Dalvin Warmack/Justin Silmon trio has combined for 265 yards on 45 rushes (5.9 ypc) and one lonely touchdown.* Inside the red zone, Dimel has had 13 plays called for him, outpacing the trio’s total of 5 play calls. Outside of the red zone, it’s the opposite. The trio has had 52 times where the ball was intended for them through rush or pass, with Dimel recording just 3 opportunities. My takeaway: It’s interesting that the weapons of choice up and down the field aren’t Dimel, who then reaps the reward.
*After three consecutive Dimel runs inside the five-yard line were stopped short of the goal against Missouri State, Charles Jones finally got the running backs a touchdown in the season’s third game … but nearly didn’t before replay had to prove he crossed the goal line before dropping the ball. Seriously dumb stuff, Charles, but hey, when you hardly ever get the chance to score, I can appreciate the want to celebrate.
Nobody legitimate is going to think less of Winston Dimel if he only scores two touchdowns instead of six. He was a preseason All-Big 12 selection, after all. And, to the argument that showing the entire Dimel playbook will give defenses more to think about in goal situations … maybe? But, how often is K-State really going to put Dimel in the Wildcat during Big 12 play?*
*I mean, they won’t do that, right? Someone tell me no … please? Please tell me no.
In the interest of sanity, let’s say this isn’t what the game plan will be in higher-leveraged situations. So, if that’s that’s the case, then why shy away from rewarding your running backs and giving them the satisfaction that comes with capping a great drive they played a direct role in?
Or don’t …
Don’t reward other guys and hope like hell in the short term that wins keep coming. And hope long term that future (legitimate) running back recruits aren’t paying that close of attention to how the scoring scales obviously have been tipped toward the sophomore son of a coach who likely will be in Manhattan for a couple of more years.