[begin standard recap]
Alex Delton was 21 of 33 for 249 yards, and added 78 yards on 15 carries despite the quarterbacks being under two-hand touch rules, leading the Purple Team to a resounding 38-6 victory over the White in today’s Spring Game at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
[end standard recap]
Let’s face it, the flow of the game isn’t important when discussing the Spring Game. The Purple Team, with the exception of some strategic shuffling of wide receivers, was the top of the depth chart; the White Team was the back-ups. The result was effectively predestined.
Further, a slew of important pieces stood on the sideline without pads today, including starting QB Jesse Ertz, WRs Dominique Heath, Byron Pringle, and Zach Reuter, RB Dalvin Warmack, offensive linemen Dalton Risner and Reid Najvar, DL Will Geary, and intriguing newcomer LB Da’Quan Patton.
So what we want to do in examining today’s action is to look at who did what, who stood out, and who made moves to climb the depth chart. We’re going to hit this in bullet form.
- First and foremost, we need to acknowledge defensive lineman Wyatt Hubert, who started the game on the white squad and finished it wearing purple. He earned that mid-game promotion, and then once he had it he kept on producing. Keep an eye on this kid.
- Alex Barnes, who ran for over seven yards a carry against first-team Big 12 defenses last season, only managed 5.75 yards a touch today against K-State’s second team. That is either an indictment of Big 12 defenses, or a feather in the cap of K-State’s backups. Barnes had a nice 69 yards and two touchdowns. Justin Silmon, sharing Purple carries with Barnes, only had 32 yards on 10 carries, but did score once.
- Alex Delton, if you just look at the stats, killed it. Further, he led all rushers on the day (78 yards and a score) despite the fact that the running backs actually had to be tackled while Delton just had to be touched up. And to give full credit, he also passed really well, so long as he was making the proper decision. Unfortunately, he made the wrong decision twice, getting picked off by Brogan Barry and Brock Monty on throws he simply should not have made.
- Skylar Thompson, on the other hand, started out flawlessly. He had a good connection with Corey Sutton, driving the White Team into the red zone on the opening drive before things stalled. Later, Thompson lost effectiveness, finishing 10 of 17 for 112 yards. He also could not solve the touch rule mystery, but had it not been for said rule he’d have run the ball pretty well.
- Sutton and Isaiah Harris had a good time, each catching 4 balls. Sutton had 61 yards, Harris 41. Bear in mind that these guys may be K-State’s #6 and #7 receivers, and be afraid. The #3 guy, Isaiah Zuber, led everyone with 96 yards and a score on 8 catches.
- Carlos Strickland didn’t look like much early, but he showed off in the fourth quarter. He finished with four catches for 62 yards, and was the key factor in the Purple Team’s two-minute offense as they drove to score the final touchdown.
- Dalton Schoen, who is probably the number EIGHT guy in the receiving corps, managed four catches for 57 yards.
- You may have noticed we just pumped gas on the wideouts, and haven’t mentioned a single running back other than Barnes and Silmon. There’s a reason. The White Team’s running game was non-existent, managing only 13 total yards on the day. Mike McCoy led White with 15 yards on nine carries. Blame the Purple defense.
- Tight ends got some action, with Dalton Valentine, Blaise Gammon, and Nick Lenners all recording a reception. Lenners won the day, picking up 36 on a POP pass.
- Defensively, none of the first-teamers did anything you don’t already expect. Reggie Walker and Tanner Wood each recorded sacks. (Wood injured himself, possibly a dislocated finger, in the third quarter.) However, there were some backups on the Purple squad who rang the bell. Bronson Massie and Ray Price each had two sacks for Purple, and Massie also had one for the White team earlier in the game. Denzel Goolsby had Purple’s only interception, victimizing Thompson in the fourth quarter.
- Massie and Goolsby both graduated from the White to the Purple mid-game. So did Wyatt Hubert, who celebrated his promotion by recovering a fumble.
- The White Team had some guys with big tackle numbers. Ian Rudzik had seven stops on the day, while Justin Hughes and Brock Monty had six each.
- Jordan Noil had a nice game, although the stats don’t show it. He broke up two Delton-to-Zuber plays in the end zone, and also had decent “you’re not getting any more yards” coverage on a couple of caught balls.
- All three field goals in the game — both of White’s and Purple’s lone three — came off the foot of Nick McLellan. Matt McCrane did participate, but only kicked extra points.
That sums up our observations on today’s final action of the spring session. If you were there or watched, please let us know what you thought, and if your opinions diverge from the above. We’ve got four months to angst over this, after all, so we need to get our talking points in order.