October 31, 2007

K-State's running duo is back

For the majority of the 2007 season, James Johnson has been the man. The senior running back had gobbled up the majority of the carries for K-State during its first seven games, but something changed during last weekend's 51-13 win over Baylor. Not only did Johnson not start, the tailback failed to lead the Wildcats in rushing attempts for the first time this year, instead, he gave way to sophomore Leon Patton, who will likely be the future of the team's ground game.

Whatever the reason for Johnson's first missed start of 2007, the winds of change may be starting to gust through the K-State ground game, and fans might soon need to come to terms with the return of a legitimate two-man ground attack. Patton, who had seen very few carries up until the Wildcats' game with Baylor, had his best game of the season against the Bears, running for 113 yards on 17 carries. Meanwhile, Johnson carried the ball 16 times, gaining 78 yards. For the first time this season, the duo looked like the 1-2 punch that fans expected to see this season, and the Wildcat faithful should probably get used to the balanced running attack they witnessed during last week's game.

"We've got two good running backs, and we'd like to be able to make sure that we can take advantage of whichever one gives us a better match up in a particular game," said K-State head coach Ron Prince. "They're both team players in that regard. They will both get their carries, but they're both pulling for each other and that's what makes it unique."

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