The interceptions don't happen like that for safeties - WVU's Darwin Cook, who is really active on defense, has seven and four have come this season - but they keep happening for Zimmerman. He had one interception in four straight games last season, including one against WVU, and he returned his only interception this season 32 yards for his first career touchdown.
"I think some of it comes from having that experience as quarterback and seeing things happening and anticipating certain actions," Zimmerman said. "But most of it comes from the fact that I'm surrounded by 10 other guys who are doing their jobs. One individual can't make a play without all the other guys doing their assignments.
I'm fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, but I'm fortunate to play with the teammates I have."
Spoken like a product of the Kansas State program. He's the third-leading tackler on a defense that needed to replace a ton of talent, but ranks No. 53 in total defense and No. 58 in scoring defense.
"Defensively, they lost a bunch of seniors last year," Mountaineers Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "They were pretty good last year defensively, I thought. When you look at them on film they look the same just with different people. The scheme is the same as it was.
"They are just a well-coached and disciplined football team that has a bunch of effort, holds their gaps and blocks and makes plays. It really does not matter who they are. If it was the same people as last year it would look the same as you see on film (this year). The speed of it is not as good, but I do see them getting better each and every week. I would expect nothing else from a Kansas State coached football team."
The defense hasn't been able to assist in turnover margin, where the Wildcats are ranked No. 118 out of 123 Football Bowl Subdivision teams (minus-1.5 per game). The six turnovers gained is the fourthlowest total in the country and the 15 turnovers lost is No. 99. Kansas State is also No. 94 in third-down defense and No. 87 in red zone defense.
Yet the Wildcats are actually getting better.
Three games ago, Texas was 9-for-18 on third down and had 81 snaps and 227 yards rushing against the Wildcats. They've allowed Oklahoma State and Baylor to combine to convert 8 of 27 third downs thelast two games. The Cowboys had 65 snaps, 330 yards of offense and only 85 on the ground. Baylor managed just 58 snaps, 113 yards rushing and "just" 35 points.
"Stop the run," Holgorsen said. "They're thick up front in the middle, and they play with tremendous effort. They are going to give you five in the box. They gave Baylor five in the box, and so did we, and (Baylor) run through us. Baylor did a good job of coming right off the ball and moving us. You heard me talk about them moving the line of scrimmage - they did not move the line of scrimmage against Kansas State.
"Hopefully that does not pose problems, but it is going to be a challenge blocking their guys. They do a great job with their defensive line and linebackers on filling gaps and holding them on the line of scrimmage and not letting you establish the line of scrimmage. They played physical against Baylor."