K-State's Alex Barnes working his way into the game
The Kansas State run game has had over 200 yards in three-straight games. A lot goes into that to be so successful and a part of that has been freshman running back Alex Barnes who has seen his role increase.
The Wildcats have three running backs who could all arguably start (Justin Silmon, Charles Jones, and Barnes), a fullback in Winston Dimel who's a force in the red zone, and quarterback Jesse Ertz who is a big part of the running game as well. Throughout the season the Wildcats have tried to find a balance between them all.
"We all have different elements that we bring to the game and mine is to just try and be as physical and strong as I can and try to get to the next level as quickly as I can with as much force and power," said Barnes who scored his first career touchdown in K-State's win over Iowa State.
Barnes only had one total carry in K-State's first three Big 12 games but in their last three Barnes has seen his carries go up in every game. Last week against Oklahoma State he rushed for 72 yards, two yards away from a new career high (Barnes rushed for 73 against FAU).
"He really is playing well. I like the way he plays. I like the way he practices. He's...I think he's got a bright future ahead," said K-State football coach Bill Snyder. "He's got very good size and has some strength to him in regards to explosiveness."
Barnes' explosiveness has resulted in positive outcomes for K-State. The Pittsburg, Kansas native has rushed 27 times and every single rush has gone for a gain.
"Just the fact that he runs hard as I'm blocking for a guy all you can ask from him is to run hard. That guy he really lowers his pads," said sophomore tight end Dayton Valentine. "If it's a play where some guy would get a yard he might be able to get three or four just from sticking his nose in there."
"Every time I've been in there the o-line has been giving me a hole to run through and it's just about me finding it and trying to get through it as well as I can," said Barnes.