Youth Movement is Underway

The Youth Movement is underway with Coach Prince putting many young players in the starting lineup. K-State football coach Ron Prince has made numerous changes to an offense that has only put up a total of nine points in its last two games. Young players can be seen all over the place to help a squad that ranks 88th in the country in total yards, and it all starts at quarterback.

Freshman Josh Freeman has been officially named the starter at the position, and senior Dylan Meier will now be relegated to simply a backup role.

Senior running back Thomas Clayton has also lost his job, as freshman Leon Patton has been named the starter, with Clayton falling all the way to third on the depth chart and junior Terry Petrie moving into the No. 2 position.

On the offensive line, seniors Michael Frieson and Greg Wafford still command the left side, and sophomore Jordan Bedore remains a standstill at center.

Two freshmen will start on the right, with Nick Stringer continuing to play right tackle and Brock Unruh will make his first start at right guard. The two players who have started at right guard this season, sophomore Gerard Spexarth and junior John Hafferty, are not even listed on the two-deep depth chart and Prince did not mention any type of injuries to the players.

Junior Rashaad Norwood and freshman Jeron Mastrud will start the game at the tight end positions and junior Jordy Nelson and senior Yamon Figurs remain the starters at wide receiver.

The defense pretty much remains untouched, but the offense was the big issue at Tuesday's press conference.

Prince has decided to make all these new changes, which will result in five freshmen and only three seniors starting on the offensive side of the ball.

"This is a performance issue," Prince said. "Penalties are a big part of it. Being able to protect the quarterback is a big part of it. Putting the ball on the ground is a part of it. Performance is the reason that people rise or don't rise in this business and that's the bottom line to it. It's not anything other than that – we're not trying to send a message to anybody, it's just a matter of performance.

"Sometimes you have to have the ball bounce your way a little bit, but until we can play well we're going to have a hard time sustaining winning and putting a positive effort together."

Freeman on being named the starter

"This is something I've been working towards, it's great to get the opportunity to go out and do what I can do. Coach Prince is not babying me at all; he's throwing everything at me. He feels like I can handle it and I also feel like I can handle it.

Junior defensive end Rob Jackson on the offensive struggles this season

"It was frustrating at first, but then we realized that if didn't let them score, then we could win the game. We have to play that much harder on defense if we're not going to get help from the offense. We would like to be able to score 21 to 35 points per game, but if not, then we're going to have to go there with the attitude to not let them score."

Sophomore defensive end Ian Campbell on the mood of the team

"I think the mood of the team is that we feel like we need to get something accomplished. We need to get things fixed. It's not a somber mood or anything like that. I think there's a sense of urgency there – everybody knows that we need to go out there and get things done."

Senior linebacker Brandon Archer on the Baylor loss and outlook for the future

"Despite playing a good game individually, it still hurt really bad. This weekend was really frustrating for me because the game was beyond me, and there wasn't anything more I could have done to win. That's what hurts the most. I don't want to be a guy that's on losing teams back to back to back, so I'm going to do whatever it takes to win. That's kind of what I told the team, that's the way I want it."


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