Consistent Hubert pacing Cats run game

By Joel Jellison

When Kansas State coach Bill Snyder says a player is consistent, don’t take it the wrong way - it’s actually a big compliment.

Consistent was the word Snyder used to describe junior running back John Hubert’s performance in Saturday’s 52-13 win over Miami. It’s also the word he used to describe his season.

Hubert rushed 19 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, one week after running for 152 yards and a 95-yard touchdown against Missouri State.

Hubert thanked Snyder for the kind words.

“It’s definitely a compliment, it’s a big compliment,” he said. “If every guy on the team is consistent, there is no way we can lose.”

Saturday’s game marked the first time Hubert rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games. It was just the fifth rushing touchdown in his career and the fifth time he rushed for more than 100 yards.

It was especially prevalent that Hubert rushed for 100 yards for the second-straight season against Miami.

Hubert played a big role in the Wildcats 28-24 win over the Hurricanes last season, rushing for a career-high 166 yards.

The junior tailback said he feels an urge to perform as well as he can in big contests.

“I just feel like every time we play ‘The U,’ everybody gets excited,” he said. “I just feel like it’s my time just to shine, step up, have a big game — I’m going to go out there and do my best.”

Hubert set his goal high this season, looking to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark after finishing with 970 yards in 2011. Now just two games into the season, Hubert has rushed for 258 yards and is on pace to reach the 1,000-yard mark before the 10th game of the season.

Of course it’s hard to know what Hubert will do over the next 10 games, the running back said if the offense keeps playing like it is right now, yards won’t be difficult to come by.

“I think (this) game was the best game offensively since I’ve been here,” Hubert said. “It was great, every thing was clicking, the run was there, the pass was there, Collin was doing great, everyone was blocking - we just had an all-around game. (I’m) hoping we keep that up throughout the season.”

Before the 2011 season, there was doubt that Hubert would even be the starting running back. With Bryce Brown, a former No. 1 recruit at tailback coming in from Tennessee, Hubert was expected to be used in a backup role.

But he beat out Brown by outworking him in the offseason, and catching the coaches’ eyes through his dedication to the program.

Senior wide receiver Chris Harper said Hubert has continued to work as hard as he always has - and it’s paying off.

“He put in more work during the summer,” Harper said. “We had some guys that didn’t put in as much work during the summer as he did. He gave us 100 percent, and he’s having a good season because of that.”

Harper said he always expects Hubert to perform well whenever he gets the opportunity. Hubert said he had a feeling it could be a good game after seeing the film on Miami.

The most important thing for the offense on Saturday, though, was keeping the Hurricanes from creating early momentum on defense.

“We know last year we kind of upset them, so they were going to come out with a chip on their shoulder,” he said. “We just wanted to get on them and get on them fast, score quick, and that’s what we did. It seemed like we broke them the first couple series.”

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