MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman and select players met with members of the media on Tuesday inside the Vanier Family Football Complex as No. 15 Kansas State hosts Kansas in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown on Saturday. Links to video and audio of Klieman’s press conference – which was streamed live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ – are above in addition to an audio link of player breakout interviews. A transcript of Klieman’s opening statement is below.
CHRIS KLIEMAN, HEAD COACH
“Good afternoon, everyone. Looking back on Saturday, obviously a strange first half how everything went down. Both teams scored on defense. There were some explosive plays. We were able to get the extra turnover on the fourth-and-one stop, which I thought was big to take that one and score. It’s 14-nothing, then 14-13, and then, 28-13 and kind of went back and forth a little bit. A couple things that really stuck out to us is getting two field goals in two-minute drives, in essence, with the first field goal with around two minutes left. They elected to use some timeouts to try to save time, which I thought was smart because they were going to get the ball the second half. Then we got a sack and so we started using our timeouts, and then we were able to get another field goal to score twice before half. Even though they were field goals, I thought it was really important there. Then the missed extra points, I thought, were really important because West Virginia was kind of chasing a lot of points the rest of the day and had to go for two and weren’t successful there. In essence, you’re losing almost a touchdown with two-point conversions misses and missed PATS, and then the missed field goal. So, special teams, I thought, was really good. I thought Malik Knowles was dynamite on special teams as well as a receiver, and our offense was very aggressive and did some really good things in the first half. A little bit tougher probably to do things in the second half because they took about nine minutes off the clock on the first drive and don’t get points, which was, I’m sure, demoralizing to the fact of they needed some quick scores, and we were able to get a stop there. Pleased anytime you can go on the road and get a win, especially in Morgantown. It’s a really tough place to play. It’s a tough environment and our guys were able to handle business and now we’re back this week. We’ve got a really good KU team coming in here. I’ve got a lot of respect for Coach Leipold, does a great job, and they’re playing really well. I know they’ve been beaten the last couple of weeks, but they’re a good football team and it should be a heck of a battle here on Saturday.”