Let's face it, the Spring Game for the longest time at Kansas State was nothing more than a showcase for the stars of the team to show off their skills. Following a 4-7 season and the graduation of Darren Sproles K-State fans have questions and concerns with this years team. Not this year and not on this team. This year's version of the Cats is not predicated on Super stars and a a different attitude already is emerging with this year's team.
After a slow start, the white team led by quarterback Allan Webb looked much sharper in the second half as they won the game 26-3. Webb hit 13-24 for 105 yards with 2 touchdowns and rushed for 113 yards on 13 carries. "I thought I played OK, but I could have played better," said Webb. " I just tried to go out each practice this spring and take it very seriously. I tried to learn as much as I could to get better. I want to work with the team and get better as a team."
It was clear during the first half the Wildcat offense had a lot of difficulty moving the ball or getting anything going offensively. "We didn't at play well at first but as the game moved on we did, and it's better late than never said Webb. The problems were due to the defense playing so well."
There is usually not a lot of big hits on the quarterbacks in the Spring game, but that wasn't the case as Maurice Mack slammed quarterback Allan Webb to the turf in the 2nd quarter angering running back Carlos Alsup who got in Mack's face to let him know about it. Perhaps this team is a closer unit already after 15 spring practices realizing they can accomplish more as a unit than as individuals.
"I liked it when Carlos (Alsup) came in and stood up for me, said Webb. This team is already closer and nothing against last year's team but when things went wrong there were fingers being pointed. I think There seemed to be a higher amount of trash talking and attitude in the game as compared to ones in years past.
"Kyle Williams and Maurice Mack were talking some trash but they're real competitive guys said Webb. I really like Kyle Williams because he can talk trash and can back it up. We both benefit from it because I'll talk trash right back. The thing is you can't talk trash if you're not doing you're job."
The quarterback position looks more like it's Allen Webb's job to lose. That is of course if Dylan Meier doesn't get healthy by the fall. Webb played well in the 2nd half and seemed in complete command of the offense. Hopefully he will continue to improve and with his athleticism he is able to get out of so much trouble but does he leave the pocket too early to run for daylight?
Alan Evridge had a rough afternoon stat wise hitting on only 5-20 with 3 interceptions. There is still so much to like about this red shirt freshman out of Nebraska. Whenever Evridge is in trouble and he's scrambling his head is up and he's always looking to make the throw. He has a great throwing touch and never seemed to rattled even though there wasn't a lot to be happy about in what was his first playing experience in front the home crowd
"It's a different atmosphere than at practice said Evridge. There are more people in the stands, and you don't have the wall of players behind you. It' s an actual game field, and you're out there alone with your guys trying to move the ball down the field. It's a little different and it's a fun atmosphere."
The running back position is another hotly contested battle between junior Thomas Clayton and senior Carlos Alsup. Clayton fumbled in the first half, but went on to gain 87 yards on 16 carries. Other than the first half fumble Clayton looked solid and played better as the game went on not showing any signs of frustration from the earlier fumble.
"The coaches told me to work it off (the first half fumble) and continue to move forward, and I feel like I did a pretty good job of moving forward, said Clayton. They said to let it go and to move on. They said there was a lot of the game left, and I think I did a good job of letting it go and moving forward."
"The fumble that he had was really a great play by Kyle Williams, but nevertheless it shouldn't have happened said Head Coach Bill Snyder. Outside of that, there was some inconsistency there. I thought there were times where he ran extremely hard and got his pads down. He did that more often than not, but there were still some times when he ran with his pads a little higher than they should have been. Overall, I thought he had a pretty decent ball game."
When senior Carlos Alsup had the ball he ran hard, followed blocks well, and took care of the football. Coming off of an injury Alsup is excited about his senior year and competing for a starting job.
"Coming off of two injuries and to just get the pads on, and to get the flow of the game felt really good said Alsup. I held up pretty well, and once the game started flowing, I felt my style was coming through as well." There still doesn't seem to be a clear cut pick or perhaps as mentioned in the last Purple Pride Line could there be a running back by committee instituted by Bill Snyder? The competition will be fierce, but both backs help each other out and carry a great attitude with the pressure that's heaped upon them
"It has been a competition from the beginning of the spring said Clayton. I think we push one another day by day, and I think that's important to improving yourself. We give each other tips after a play and we're for one another, totally. "I'll tell you what, football is football. I don't think there would be any more pressure if I were coming in after any other guy." Head coach Bill Snyder seemed pleased with the progress that his offense has made during the spring practices. One of the main things the coaching staff was looking for in the spring game was consistent play, and that didn't occur until the second half but overall Snyder was encouraged by what he saw from Webb.
"It was a little hard to have the continuity that we wanted said Snyder. Allen Webb showed that he can move around and do a lot of things. He's a very athletic guy and played the second half better than he did the first.
He ended up getting his completion percentage above 50 percent. I think he's a better passer than that, but you can see that he's skilled enough that he can hurt you when he brings the ball down. Allen has had more consistent practices than what he had today. I think something that burdens him a little bit sometimes, is that we put the responsibility on them to call all of their offense. So, consequently there is additional thinking that he goes through that he wouldn't go through in a normal game."
There will also be a battle to be the new place kicker with the graduation of Joe Rheem who enjoyed an outstanding senior season last year. Both Jeff Snodgrass and Tim Schwerdt hit on field goals from 56 yards. Even with the wind blowing hard at KSU stadium both kicks were very impressive.
"It was a windy day and that had an impact on a lot of things, but I was pleased with what our kickers did said Snyder. I didn't think they were as totally consistent as we would like, but I thought Snodgrass and Schwerdt hit the ball well. They each had 56-yard field goals and granted, that's with the wind, but that sometimes makes it even harder."
That's it until fall practice gets underway and some very highly touted
newcomers make their way to Manhattan. Look for surprises in the fall and
possibly some starters of the past not getting their starting jobs back.
There are no stars on this football team and working together as a cohesive
unit will be a must for Kansas State to return to winning form and start
another bowl streak.
Brought to you by: www.KStateFans.com