Josh Rivas, K-State OL

In this file photo, Kansas State offensive lineman Josh Rivas (76) lines up in last season's game against South Dakota. K-State head coach Chris Klieman said Rivas "played really well" in Saturday's opener versus Nicholls.

Josh Rivas wasn't part of Kansas State's starting offensive line Saturday. But he saw plenty of reps in a reserve role at guard as the Wildcats regularly rotated linemen on and off the field.

K-State head coach Chris Klieman liked what he saw.

"He played really well," Klieman said during his time on the Big 12 coaches teleconference Monday. "We were going roll him (in) no matter what to try and get him close to half of the snaps if we could, simply because we think he’s one of our best six offensive linemen."

Rivas, a third-year sophomore from Hutchinson, played in all 12 games last season. That included starts on the road against both TCU and Iowa State. He was part of an offensive line that helped the Wildcats average 184.2 rushing yards per game in Big 12 play, the second-best mark in the conference.

His effort in Saturday's 49-14 win over Nicholls convinced Klieman that Rivas only will continue to get better.

"I love the way 'Rivo' played," said Klieman, invoking a nickname for Rivas. "He was really physical and came off the ball well, communicated well. I think he’ll continue to get probably more snaps."

Klieman reiterated that Rivas' reps had nothing to do with any other linemen making mistakes. Shuffling linemen in and out, as the Wildcats did Saturday, is the plan going forward.

"I just think we can continue to try to spell some guys up front," Klieman said, "and it gives us a little bit of an insurance policy when Tyler Mitchell can play tackle and get Nick (Kaltmayer) or Scott (Frantz) out of a series as well, get Josh another series here and there, and Evan (Curl) another series. We’re still trying to develop a few more guys, but I’m really pleased with how Rivas played.”

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