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Running backs show potential; new track and field marks set on the Bayou

But the BatCats? Woof.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State's offensive woes last season, while mostly a consequence of quarterback play, were not helped by inconsistent production in the backfield. Early reports from spring practice suggest the running game will not be a problem in 2016. Former walk-on Justin Silmon is working hard to learn the playbook and blocking schemes. Bill Snyder complimented Silmon by noting "he ran as hard as anybody" in scrimmage time. Silmon will be tested by competition from Charles Jones, last year's leading rusher with 696 yards, and also by fullback Winston Dimel and sophomore Dalvin Warmack, who "practiced extremely hard and extremely well" so far. Snyder sees plenty of potential in this group of running backs, and hopes for better on-field production during the season (Ken Corbitt, Topeka Capital-Journal).

Speaking of last season's quarterback play, nobody was more upset about it than the quarterbacks themselves, whether it was injury or inconsistency. Jesse Ertz notes that being sidelined with injury has made him tougher, while Alex Delton has "really gotten off to an excellent start," according to Snyder. The big question mark remains Joe Hubener and his role with the team. Nobody expects Hubener to start for Kansas State in 2016, but Snyder suggests Hubener has improved in the passing game, and given that the Wildcats' quarterback almost always improves in the second year, look for Hubener to get a number of touches, regardless of the collective wisdom of fans and prognosticators (Timothy Everson, K-State Collegian).

Oh no, BatCats.

Kansas State dropped its eighth consecutive conference game with another loss to Texas yesterday, losing 12-5 on seven late runs by the Longhorns. That was on top of three solo home runs Texas had early in the game off starter Levi MaVorhis.

The BatCats did manage 13 hits on the day, but were just 3-of-11 with runners in scoring position. Afterwards, coach Brad Hill had good things to say about effort, and was hopeful the team could pull it all together soon. In the most Bruce Weber-esque statement he's made to date, Hill suggested the team desperately needed positive momentum, but offered no real explanation for the team's recent failures. All this begs the question: what the heck is going on over there?

The Wildcats will attempt to salvage at least one win from this series later today. First pitch is scheduled for 1 PM, and Corey Fischer will get the start.

The track and field team had an excellent outing at the LSU Battle of the Bayou this weekend. In a meet scored by conference affiliation, Kansas State and Oklahoma combined to finish in second place for the men's and women's competitions. The meet itself was won by the SEC, represented by Alabama, Mississippi State, and host school LSU.

Shadae Lawrence kicked off the points for Kansas State, taking first in the women's discus throw with a 55.52m effort. Her twin sister Shardia Lawrence joined her in the winner's circle by winning the triple jump competition with a mark of 12.97m. Seniors Sara Savatovic and Dani Winters won the hammer throw (64.74m) and shot put (17.36m) respectively.

On the track, A'Keyla Mitchell won the 200m dash with a time of 22.94, besting her own school record in the process, while teammate Terrell Smith took second place in the men's 200m race. Morgan Wedekind set a new meet record in the 5000m event, finishing in first place with a time of 17:28.79, a new personal best. In the 10,000m event, Jeff Bachman took first with a time of 31:22.66, also a new meet record and personal best mark.

Up next, the teams will return to Kansas to take part in the KT Woodman Invitational in Wichita next weekend, while Akela Jones will appear at the Mt. SAC Relays in Asuza, California.