Bill Snyder goes through the same routine every year. As Kansas State’s spring football game approaches, he says he may tinker with its format.
Maybe this year the Wildcats will pit their first-string offense against their first-string defense to create a more competitive setting. Maybe this year the Wildcats will experiment with situational game flow, such as goal-line offense and two-minute drills, rather than starting each drive with a kickoff. Maybe this year the Wildcats will use an alternate scoring system.
Similar styles are used across the country at spring games, with some teams opting to use a running clock and others doing away with the open practice in favor of a quick scrimmage. Snyder, as he does every year, suggested K-State may follow suit with its own changes at 1:10 p.m. Saturday.
But the setup never changes. The first string will take on the second string, Snyder will flip the score at halftime, and officials will use standard clock procedures. It’s the only way to resemble a live game.
“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 trying to replicate, as much as we possibly can, a game-day experience. Keeping score the way you keep score on Saturday afternoons is just a part of it.”
The setup has led to long games in recent years, with quarterbacks calling their own plays and throwing the ball at a much higher rate than they do when coaches make the calls. That doesn’t bother K-State players.
“I have always preferred it that way,” linebacker Will Davis said. “I have never been a proponent of playing a quarter or a series and then sitting out. That takes the fun out of it, if you ask me. We are there to enjoy a game atmosphere and to get better. If you aren’t doing it full, there is no point in doing it at all.”
K-State will simulate a fall Saturday as closely as it possibly can, using the same eating schedule, warmup routine and song list as the home opener in September. Snyder doesn’t want anything to change.
“It helps the guys who haven’t played,” linebacker Charmeachealle Moore said. “It gets them in a routine of what a game day is like.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett
Kansas State spring game
- When: 1:10 p.m. Saturday
- Where: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan
- TV/radio: No TV; WHB (810 AM)