New faces shine in spring game

April 21, 20180 Comments

Just as Kansas State coach Bill Snyder wanted it, Saturday’s Purple-White spring game was nothing out of the ordinary.

There were impressive performances from young players and plenty of areas to improve on display as Purple beat White 31-28 at a rainy Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

“Nobody did anything that surprised me,” Snyder bluntly put it afterwards.

Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson continued their battle for the starting quarterback spot with evenly-matched outings. Both played for both teams in the game, giving them the chance to face K-State’s starters and backups on the defensive side of the ball.

Delton passed for 201 yards and three touchdowns, while Thompson added 204 yards and two scores. Neither threw an interception.

“I thought both of them played reasonably well,” Snyder said. “We flipped a coin to decide who would be the first guy to take reps with the ones. That’s an indication of how close they’ve been throughout spring practices.”

The more surprising — and perhaps encouraging — aspect of K-State’s offense came from the receiving corps. With Byron Pringle and Dominique Heath gone, there are plenty of questions to be answered as the season approaches.

Chabastin Taylor and Landry Weber attempted to ease the doubts, combining for 183 yards and three touchdowns. The pair, along with Zach Reuter, appear to be challenging Isaiah Zuber and Dalton Schoen at the top of the depth chart.

Snyder said Taylor has a ways to go but it making progress.

“It’s been up and down, kind of a roller coaster with him,” Snyder said. “It’s a new process and system for him. You can see he’s got some skill. He’s just got to learn how much of an investment it really takes. But he’s made some headway and he played well today.”

Alex Barnes appears to have a firm grip on the starting running back spot for the time being. He logged 18 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown, while Justin Silmon carried the ball only twice.

K-State made several changes to its coaching staff over the offseason, which is rare in the second Snyder Era. As a result, the Hall of Fame coach said the spring game was just as important for his new coordinators as it was for his players.

“There’s always going to be a new dynamic every year because of different players, but that is even more true when you have some new guys on your coaching staff,” he said. “For them, learning the communication systems is the biggest thing.”

As many as eight starters were held out of the game due to injuries, although it was just precautionary in most cases.

 

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