Each day, as a countdown to fall camp opening Aug. 2, we are going to provide you with a number that was important in 2011 and let you know why it will be important in 2012.
Inside the numbers
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was a runner first and a passer second in 2011.
So his 57.3 completion percentage was somewhat excused while his 88 rushing yards per game were applauded.
David Ash was not a runner first. He was a passer. So there were not many who were excusing his 56.9 completion percentage. Not even Ash could excuse the worst completion percentage among Big 12 quarterbacks with at least 150 attempts.
The freshman knew he didn’t do as well as he needed to do. At the end of the season, in the wake of winning the Holiday Bowl, Ash acknowledged that he felt he had let his teammates down in several games.
Where it counts in 2012
This spring Ash went to work on improving. He didn’t go through a major overhaul mechanically, although he acknowledged that there were some things that needed to be cleaned up in his throwing motion.
Instead Ash went to work in the film room and on the field.
Ash began studying his decision-making process. Many of his incompletions, as well as interceptions, were the result of forcing the ball into a window where it just didn’t fit. Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin stayed in his ear during those sessions letting him know it is OK to throw the ball away if the pass isn’t there. A punt is better than a pick, is the mantra the duo employed.
If Ash embraces his role as a game manager, he could easily improve his completion percent to 60 or more. Harsin is going to utilize more inside and outside screens as well as bubble screens -- and that should help increase the percentage as well.