K-State still trying to find consistency late in season

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Sophomore running back Justin Silmon runs the ball during the football game between K-State and Texas in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Oct. 22, 2016. (File Photo by Emily Starkey | The Collegian)

The Kansas State football team needs to find consistency. It seems like it’s been said over and over lately but it’s a hurdle that the team has yet to clear. Head coach Bill Snyder and company spent Tuesday talking about consistency among other things. Here are three things that stood out:

1. Consistency has yet to be found.

The Wildcats have not been able to play a complete game in Big 12 play. K-State let West Virginia come back and win in the second half and almost let Texas and Iowa State do the same.

“We are not complete,” Snyder said. “I think that is true in all aspects of our game. We have not put together a complete ball game in the running game, passing game, run defense, pass defense and parts of our kicking game as well. At the end of the day, it goes back to being able to put together complete ball games.”

Last week against Iowa State, both the offense and defense struggled, especially in the fourth quarter where Iowa State scored two touchdowns and forced a K-State safety.

Oklahoma State possesses a very potent offense that will make the Wildcats pay if they don’t play a complete game Saturday.

2. Running backs by committee is not going as well as hoped.

The least effective running back on Saturday was senior Charles Jones. The running back with the most carries on Saturday was Jones. Sophomore running back Justin Silmon and freshman running back Alex Barnes were far more successful. They both ran for a touchdown and averaged more yards per carry than Jones but still did not see many carries.

“They are all good, young guys and can do what you want them to do,” Snyder said. “It is about developing a hot hand, so to speak. Sometimes when somebody gets on fire, then they tend to perform higher than what the expectation might be. We need to keep guys that are gaining a hot hand on the field more frequently.”

Silmon said he doesn’t mind sharing carries with his fellow backs as long as the team is successful and he thought the running game has been successful.

“I think we have been doing pretty good,” Silmon said. “I think we have been getting more confident and better every week, but I think we can still pick it up.”

1. The team’s starting November in much better shape than a year ago.

A year ago the Wildcats were 3-4 overall and 0-4 in the Big 12. This year they are 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the Big 12. They have a good shot to win even more games in a month that has been kind to K-State in the past.

K-State has won at least half or more of its games in November over the last five years.

“I think that just shows the dedication and toughness that we exemplify here,” junior linebacker Trent Tanking said. “We always are preached to finish and that goes to the whole season. We are reaching the last four games and trying to finish.”

Snyder said he sees qualities in this year’s team similar to those of the team a year ago, which clawed back to .500 by the time the season ended.

“After we went through that losing streak, last year’s team really embraced the concept of commitment with a purpose,” Snyder said. “They did the things that committed people do to achieve what they desire to achieve. I would hope that this team has the same approach. Based on what I see from them right now, I like to think that they do have that same approach.”

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