Bill Snyder made it completely clear during Tuesday’s weekly media day: “John (Hubert) will be the starter, and Angelo (Pease) will be the next guy on the field.”
Asked about Bryce Brown, Snyder gave an “I don’t know” answer.
Kansas State did muster up 175 rushing yards in the 10-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky two weeks ago, but that included 78 by quarterback Collin Klein.
Of the true running backs, Hubert had 91 yards on 17 carries, Brown 16 yards on three totes and Pease 11 yards on five chances. Including Klein’s ground yards, K-State netted just 3.1 yards on 56 team carries, which includes two by Braden Wilson and four team carries.
If one is looking for excuses, coach Bill Snyder admits that only “15 percent … give or take 10 percent” of K-State’s offensive package hit the field.
Hubert, a 5-foot-7, 185-pound sophomore, is called a “slasher” by running “John is practicing about the same as he has. I haven’t seen any accelerated motivation because he’s the No. 1 guy. He’s very methodical about how he practices. That’s John’s way,” said Snyder. “It’s hard to ask young guys to be something they are not. Do I know what’s going on in his mind all the time? No, but hopefully it’s the right thing. As long as he doesn’t lose site on what he needs to do, he’s just fine.”
During the preseason camp, Hubert emerged as the No. 1 back due to his own individual efforts, plus the fact that Brown opted to spend part of his summer in Tennessee as opposed to working out in KSU’s summer program. In addition, Pease did not take part in K-State’s spring season due to finishing up academic requirements at Hutchinson Community College.
Entering the year, Hubert acknowledged, “I have the edge in that I know the offense better than the new guys around. I still now the starting spot is up for grabs, so I’m going to give 100 percent just like I was a new kid on the block.
“We’ve become good friends since everyone arrived, so we’re trying to continue to compete, stay friends, and may the best man win,” said Hubert.
Speaking of Brown, Hubert added, “He’s pushing me every day. Just knowing that he’s a big-time recruit is making my game better and taking it to a new level.”
And, Hubert is doing the same for Brown: “John is just really tough. He’s like 185 pounds, but he runs bigger and tougher than that. He has a lot of power in those legs and he competes.”
Dimel says that while Hubert is a slasher, Pease and Brown run with more power. And like K-State did with Daniel Thomas last year, Dimel says, “You try to take all the weapons and try to play to their strengths.”
No matter who might lineup up in the backfield it will make little difference without a continued improvement in the offensive line.
Three changes from the opener are predicted for Saturday night’s Kent State game as B.J. Finney moves from right guard to center to replace the injured Shaun Simon, Nick Puetz takes the place of Keenan Taylor at left guard, and Colten Freeze takes Finney’s spot at right guard.
In addition, Jordan Allred has been moved from defensive tackle to backup right guard.
"They work diligently at what they do. They have some progress, but they are so youthful that every day is a new experience for them,” said Snyder of the offensive line play. “They are intelligent young people and it is a matter of taking what you learn in the classroom to the field and replicating it time and time again. The more repetitions they get the better they become.”
NO. 1 VS. NO. 119:
Statistics mean little at this point, but K-State’s rush defense of allowing 10 yards per game ranks No. 1 in the nation, while Kent State is No. 119 in the country in rushing the football after games of negative-9 yards on 23 carries at Alabama, and 72 yards on 34 carries against Louisiana. For the season, Kent State is averaging 1.1 yards per rushing attempt and 31.5 yards per game.
K-State is 1-0 with its 10-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky. Kent State is 0-2 having lost to Alabama, 48-7, and Louisiana, 20-12.
UPDATE ON TUGGLE:
Blinn College transfer Justin Tuggle continues to rank No. 3 at quarterback behind Collin Klein and Sammuel Lamur. On Tuggle, Snyder said, “It’s disappointing for Justin to be third on the totem pole, but you would never know it by watching his effort. Every day he’s trying to be as good as he can be. He picks things up and is progressing well. He’s a good teammate and great around the other players.”