Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Bill Snyder: K-State Still Working on Running Back Position

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Bill Snyder: K-State Still Working on Running Back Position

Article excerpt

Entering a bye week between the first and second games, Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder gave his stock answer when asked if he expected to see improvement from his team: "Ask me after the game."

The reviews are in and Snyder did note progress between a 26-13 loss at then-No. 8 Stanford and last Saturday's 63-7 rout of Florida Atlantic.

"We had some issues in our ballgame versus Stanford and it was important for us to get those things corrected, and I think for the most part we did," Snyder said Monday on the Big 12 Conference coaches teleconference. "We're still not without our deficiencies, but we did get better in so many areas.

"Defensively, we got so much better in regards to third-down conversions. Florida Atlantic was 1 of 13. We created turnovers (four), which we have been a little bit deficient at, so that was very, very positive. We just made fewer mistakes in regards to assignments."

Along with creating turnovers, including interceptions by defensive backs Kendall Adams and D.J. Reed, the Wildcats took advantage of Florida Atlantic's porous run defense to amass 336 rushing yards. Dalvin Warmack, who had eight carries for 90 yards, and redshirt freshman Alex Barnes (8 for 73) were showcased with Charles Jones (8 for 40) and Justin Silmon (3 for 18) in limited roles.

"You can't run the ball with just running backs," Snyder said. "You better have somebody up there who is creating the space to try to run to and I thought our offensive line did a commendable job and was improved over the previous week. It all fits together."

The logjam at running back didn't become any clearer for the Wildcats (1-1), who play Missouri State (2-0) at 6:10 p.m. Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium.

"We're still trying to work through that," Snyder said. "It's a work in progress, and I'm proud of each of the running backs because they're very competitive right now, which enhances their ability on the field and gives them cause to be more aggressive runners, which I think we have become in the last week and a half.

"We got some big plays. Not nearly enough, but we got more than what we previously had in the running game with three or four 20- plus yard plays, and that's significant for us. …

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