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 the 22nd-ranked Wildcats prepare to face No. 9 Oklahoma State on Saturday inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium. 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
“Well good afternoon, everyone. Obviously disappointed in the loss on Saturday. I thought we had ample opportunities. We had a really good start in the second quarter that kind of got us through the first half. I thought some guys really stepped up and played when we had some guys injured. I thought Will Howard was extremely good, extremely confident and poised when he came in, ripped some balls and ran the ball well. He led the offense and did some really good things. Another guy that jumps out at me is Nick Allen. Daniel Green went out and Nick came in, and I thought played a terrific game. All that being said, in the second half, we didn’t capitalize on opportunities. We made some mistakes on defense with some alignments, missed some tackles. Gave up along third down with a screen pass that we can’t have happen, but it did and they capitalize on that and got a touchdown. We gave up an explosive play on the one that Julius (Brents) got hurt on. So that was another seven points there. We moved the ball some in the second half, although we didn’t have it very much because we didn’t get enough stops on defense at all. We’d get into scoring range and didn’t capitalize. We missed one field goal. Will went down on that play, and I thought about going for it on fourth down because I didn’t want to put Rubes (Jake Rubley) in that spot when Will went down. Probably wish I would have at that time now, but I didn’t. Then Will just misfires on a ball to Kade (Warner) or it’s 38-35 and maybe we have a chance after that, but we didn’t make that play and then missed that kick. Then it was a 10-point game with not much time was left. So, proud as heck of the guys’ effort and resolve. They know that they missed opportunities and had an opportunity to win that game over a really good TCU team. I think they’re a complete team on all three phases. All that being said, I still thought we had an opportunity. We just didn’t close it out, so we got to go back to work this week. We’ve got a lot of guys beat up that I don’t probably have a lot of information for you just after a Monday practice, but we’ll see who’s available. In retrospect, we’ve got to move forward with the guys that we know are going to practice and those guys have to be ready to play.”