"The White defense did a terrific job, Tim Tibesar, in his head coaching debut, did every bit as good as we thought he would, said Head Coach Ron Prince. The White defense was terrific. No matter what unit was out there on the field, it was clear that the white defense was too fast, too good, too skilled, and very well coached and I'm very pleased with that."
Is there or could there be a brewing quarterback controversy between sophomore Josh Freeman and freshman red shirt Carson Coffman? It was clear that Coffman out played the highly touted Freeman with his calm, smooth on field decision making. Coffman was 12-29 including hitting five or his first six attempts, with one interception while throwing two touchdown passes, one for 16 yards to Matt Wykes and a short five yard toss to Toney Coleman. Coffman is now on a 27 game winning streak from playing at Raymore-Peculiar High School in Missouri up to today with the Spring Game victory. The soft spoken yet confident Coffman was calm straight to the point when asked if there was now a battle for the starting quarterback spot?
"Yes, there is said Coffman, I'm here to compete. I feel like I did well. I had of couple of mistakes. Overall, I felt like I managed the game and led the While team to a victory."
"I thought Carson Coffman did a terrific job, he was very poised and he's worked hard to get back to this position, said Prince. You can see why we're very confident in him – he's never lost a game and the streak continues. A lot of praise goes to him, that's for sure, and his preparation."
Freeman was less than impressive in the game showing very little of the flash he displayed at times in the 2006 season. The athletic quarterback was 9-22 passing and averaged -6.5 yards on only two carries while throwing two interceptions. Although it's a practice game Freeman was clearly disappointed with his performance
"I felt really good coming into this game, said Freeman. We just couldn't get anything going and I put that blame on myself because I am one of the leaders on the offense. And I had nothing for them."
"It's one of those things where I just told him hey this is a tough game, said Prince. When you come out here and don't play well, this is how it goes in sports. You work hard, it didn't work out, didn't go your way.
The White defense was dominating led by senior defensive end Rob Jackson who was double teamed throughout the game. Linebacker Reggie Walker paced the White defense and led all tacklers with six solo stops, two of which went for losses, while Jackson and Marcus Perry each recorded a sack. This year's defensive team has switched to a 3-4 and Coach Prince was very impressed with the progress he's seen in Spring practices and on the field today.
"I'm really excited about the play of the defense. If we came out here and lit up the scoreboard and it was 42-45, 52-50, I wouldn't be feeling very good right now, said Prince. Defenses are always ahead of offenses, but in light of that Carson and the group on White managed the game and did a really good job. He really didn't put them in too many bad situations – I thought they managed the game real well. That's sometimes what happens, you might be having an off-day, you just have to manage the game well. I'm really excited about defense."
There is more than just bragging rights to the K-State spring game. The winners get steak and the losers get beanie-weenies. Apparently there was also a side bet between the two quarterbacks as well. Carson Coffman proposed to Josh Freeman that the losing quarterback in the game had to shave his head. That might cause some first year players to be nervous about such a wager but that doesn't seem to be the case with Coffman.
"I'm gonna try and get Josh to shave his head said Coffman. I was never nervous about the making the bet, if I thought I would lose I wouldn't have made it."
This is a spring football game and how you play and who wins means about as much as winning the most games during exhibition baseball season. There's not a team in the Big 12 with as many question marks behind it as K-State. Could there be a quarterback controversy? How will the defense adjust to the 3-4? Is there enough depth or speed on this year's team? No one really knows what to expect this year from Coach Prince's second year but more will be expected and things watched far closer than in his first season.
The White squad kept its winning streak alive with a convincing 19-0 shutout of the Purple team in Kansas State's annual spring football game. 16,732 a much smaller crowd than last year came to watch the progress of Quarterback Josh Freeman and get their first look at some of the newcomers who might play a part in this years team.