Some college football teams around the country are tweaking the way their spring games are held. For a few teams, these tweaks have included adding different ways to score points and not holding a “traditional football game.”
This does not intrigue the K-State football program.
When the Wildcats host their 2016 spring game this Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, it will be held just as a normal football game. Four quarters, 15 minutes each. A touchdown is worth six points.
In other words, Saturday’s spring game will stay as it always has been for K-State head coach Bill Snyder.
“I think it is just a matter of trying to keep it real, as much as anything,” Snyder said. “We consider the spring game as a 15th practice. It has always been a matter of just being able to replicate, as much as we possibly can, a gameday experience. Keeping score the way you would on a Saturday afternoon is probably just a part of it.”
The format of the spring game was a highly talked about topic on Tuesday at the Vanier Family Football Complex for Snyder’s final press conference of spring practices.
Keeping the format the same is something that players said will help prepare them for what lies ahead when the fall season rolls around.
“I like it,” senior linebacker Charmeachealle Moore said. “It gets the guys who have not played in a routine of what a game day is like. We do it just like a game day. We go through everything, so we can help people get in the mentality of playing on game day.”
Though the game itself will not be new, come Saturday there will be some new faces on the field.
One area of consistent concern this spring is the fact that after the 2015 season, the Wildcats lost four of their five starters along the offensive line. Seeing which linemen take the field on Saturday in the starting lineup will be something to look out for.
“(Offensive line) coach (Charlie) Dickey is doing a great job,” senior lineman Terrale Johnson said. “Everyone is out there competing. He is moving us all around; nothing is set in stone. His thing was there is no depth chart right now, so everyone is out there working hard. For him, it is who is going to compete for the starting spots. It is really just getting people on board.”
Along with the offensive line, the quarterback battle was once again discussed at the press conference. There are three likely possibilities to take the snaps for the Wildcats in 2016: freshman Alex Delton, junior Jesse Ertz and senior Joe Hubener.
Although there is competition between the fellow quarterbacks, Delton mentioned that they continue to help each other work and improve as time goes on.
“(Ertz), specifically, is just a good friend,” Delton said. “We were both injured in the training room all last fall, so we got to spend a lot of time together. It’s not the time you want to spend together, but he has been a guy that has helped me ever since I got here. He has helped me become the best that I can be, and if there is anything he needs, I will help him also. Our friendship definitely took the next step last fall when we both got hurt. That is something unfortunate, but we can build off of it and we can carry it out on the field.”
Tuesday was the final time that Snyder and players met with the media prior to the spring game to discuss the team. And as the spring practices wind down, players are excited to do something different for a change.
A little bit of friendly competition among the team is something that all players are looking forward to when 1:10 p.m. finally rolls around this Saturday.
“It is very exciting,” sophomore running back Justin Silmon said. “Each day at practice has been pretty exciting. But having people out there watching, you just want to show them how much you have improved.”