Sproles "Carries" The Day
Sproles "Carries" The Day
By Nick Bratkovic
K-State running back Darren Sproles is changing the measure of a good game for a running back. Typically, a running back sets 100 yards as a rushing goal in a game. Sproles, though, has eclipsed the 200-yard mark four times in the last six games.
Saturday, he rushed 43 times for 221 yards and a touchdown in K-State's 27-13 win Saturday over Western Kentucky.
"Darren played fine," Snyder said. "He got a lot of carries and a lot of yards. Western Kentucky played well. They coached well. They are a complex defensive football team. We made mistakes and there was a lot of traffic there to pick up. "
After the game, Sproles said he felt a need to make plays. K-State started sophomore Dylan Meier, and the offense featured a steady dose of Sproles.
Sproles carried the ball six times for 31 yards on K-State's first drive of the game. K-State went 80 yards and fifteen plays for the score. Meier scored on a nine-yard touchdown run.
K-State's offense sputtered at times in the game. Late in the first half, Meier hit two passes for 45 yards.In the red zone, though, Meier and Sproles fumbled near the goal line. Following a false start penalty, K-State settled for a field goal and entered halftime with a 10-6 lead.
K-State's first possession of the second half went 10 plays for 80 yards and a touchdown. The team would score again with a 19-yard field goal from Joe Rheem with 4:14 remaining in the third quarter.
Meier left the game with an injury midway through the fourth quarter. He finished 12-for-18 and having thrown for 183 yards. He also rushed for 60 yards including a 30 yard third quarter run. Snyder said the sophomore quarterback played an average game.
"He is doing fine, but he got a little dinged up," Snyder said. "He had several chances to make it an extremely fine game. Though the stats don't show it, he threw an interception and he overthrew two touchdown passes. He had the opportunity to have a good ball game, but when push came to shove, that didn't happen."
The interception that was negated by a penalty came in the first half. On the play, Meier threw an interception that was whipped out by a Western Kentucky off side penalty. Two plays later, Sproles had difficulty handling a pitch and fumbled the football.
On the next drive, Western Kentucky marched 10 plays and 86 yards for a touchdown. The drive ended with a 13-yard touchdown run from came from Lerron Moore. The team missed an extra point, but then recovered an onside kick.
"We did good things defensively, but there were critical downs where their passing game hurt us," Snyder said. "We didn't rush the passer well and the kicking game left a lot to be desired. Giving up an onside kick is junior high football."
K-State played the game without Marvin Simmons, whom Snyder said didn't play because he hasn't done the things necessary to play. K-State also played without linebacker Ted Simms.
In the second half, Western Kentucky responded with an 8 play, 58-yard touchdown drive that ended with a Justin Haddix pass to Earl Clayton. "There are a lot of growing pains," Snyder said. "We are in a position where don't have a lot of people we want on the field right now."
Snyder said the team has a lot to work on entering next week's game against Fresno State. "It is evident that we have issues," he said. "We are painfully non-productive in critical aspects of the game. We couldn't get the ball in the end zone when it was vital to do so. It wasn't easy." But it was a win!
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