September 12, 2006
Running game improves with Clayton's return
Thomas Clayton promised to provide a boost to the Kansas State running game upon returning from a one-game suspension, and the senior tailback proved to be a man of his word in the Wildcats 45-0 win over Florida Atlantic. Clayton's production of 89 yards on 16 rushes is impressive enough, but considering the fact that K-State turned in just 44 rushing yards as a team in the previous week, it's clear that Clayton's return provided a spark.
K-State averaged less than 2 yards per carry in its season opening 24-23 win over Illinois State, but it was a different story last Saturday. The Clayton-led ground attack churned out 221 yards on 30 rushes, good for an average of 7.4 yards a tote, and the former Florida State transfer displayed the one-cut and go running style Coach Ron Prince likes to see out of his backs.
"It's all about being decisive," Clayton said. "Whenever you find the seam and are able to go with it, that's the key."
Clayton was obviously solid in his 2006 debut, but some of the credit also must go to an offensive line that took plenty of heat, and deservedly so, after struggling heavily against the Division I-AA Redbirds in K-State's opening contest.
On Saturday that offensive line gave Clayton and the rest of K-State's ball carriers holes to run through.
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