Things were going so well for the Kansas State football team.
A convincing 35-21 win over Florida International to open the season, coupled with a nationally televised victory over Marshall, and Wildcat fans finally had something to smile about after last season’s 4-7 disappointment.
Now, the biggest reason for the the team’s hot start could find himself sidelined when the Wildcats take on North Texas (1-1) on Sept. 24.
Junior running back Thomas Clayton, the nation’s leading rusher, was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated battery, stemming from a Sept. 16 altercation involving a university parking services employee. According to the police report, the employee attempted to have a lock put on Clayton’s car because of several unpaid parking tickets. Before the lock could be applied (which would have prevented Clayton from leaving), Clayton got into his car and drove away, almost hitting the employee.
Clayton was later arrested, then released on $1,000 bond. A court date has not yet been set.
It is still unclear whether Clayton, who rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns against Marshall Sept. 10, will play in the Wildcats’ game Saturday. During the Big 12 Conference coaches teleconference Monday, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he would take a “wait-and-see” approach before taking any disciplinary action.
“I’m not in a position to elaborate (on the consequences),” Snyder said Monday. “Thomas did make some errors in judgement and will suffer some serious consequences. He’s a good kid...and he didn’t do anything besides make a major error in judgement.”
Clayton has run for 165 yards per game and has scored three touchdowns for the 2-0 Wildcats.
THE OLD SWITCH-A-ROO: Oklahoma junior Paul Thompson, who began the season as a legitimate contender to replace former Heisman Trophy winner Jason White at quarterback, has been moved to wide receiver, according to Sooners coach Bob Stoops.
After going 11-for-26 passing with an interception in the team’s season-opening loss to Texas Christian University Sept. 3, Thompson was yanked in favor of redshirt freshman Rhett Bomar. Since then, Thompson hasn’t seen any action. Bomar has moved into the starting role and gone 1-1. Bomar has completed 27-of-47 passes with two interceptions and no touchdowns this season.
“We feel that Rhett has four years in front of him and is a little further along in some areas. We knew Paul had a chance all along at quarterback, but things just worked out this way,” Stoops said. “(Paul) is excited about it and he sees the opportunity in it.”
Oklahoma (1-2) is the only two-loss team in the Big 12.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M’s senior quarterback, earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors this week after compiling 449 yards of total offense in the Aggies’ 66-8 victory against Southern Methodist University on Saturday. McNeal passed for 349 yards and a school-record five touchdowns. He also broke the school’s single-game total offense record and moved into first place on the Aggies’ list for career offense with 6,913 yards.
Kansas senior linebacker Brandon Perkins, who collected a school record five sacks in the Jayhawks’ 34-14 win over Louisiana Tech, was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and Nebraska senior punter Sam Koch was named Special Teams Player of the Week for his part in Nebraska’s 7-6 win over Pittsburgh. Kock averaged 46 yards in eight punt attempts (five of which were downed inside Pittsburgh’s 20) and set a Big 12 record with an 84-yard punt in the third quarter.
TAKIN’ IT EASY: It should be a slow week for fans of Big 12 football, as seven teams will enjoy bye weeks before the Big 12 schedule officially begins Oct. 1.
Only Iowa State, Colorado, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M will suit up, with the week’s most marquee game coming when defending Big 12 North champion Colorado travels to Miami to take on the Hurricanes in a Sept. 24 contest that will air on ABC at 11 a.m.
Missouri, after a 52-21 win against Troy last Saturday, will not play this Saturday before hosting Texas on Oct. 1. The Tigers’ usual Sunday evening practice was cancelled this week, and players took Monday off, coach Gary Pinkel said.
“We’re going to rest a little bit,” Pinkel said. “And later on in the week we’ll work on getting better and getting ready for a good game against Texas.”