It’s pretty apparent that Chris Klieman is able to get his teams up for the big games. The kind of game where all the pundits write his team off, where there is seemingly no hope of victory. It happened at North Dakota State with wins over Iowa State (2014) and then-#13 Iowa (2016), and now at Kansas State with back-to-back wins over the “unbeatable” Sooners.
At NDSU, Klieman’s teams were also really good at wining they games they should win, which is the reason his teams made five straight trips to the NCAA Semifinals and won the NCAA D1 Football Championship four times in his five seasons. But at K-State, it’s not quite been the same story — yet.
In 2019, after beating the Sooners the Wildcats went on the embarrass the Jayhawks the next week (which, really, isn’t that difficult) before dropping a winnable game against Texas and then a total head-scratcher to West Virginia. Things were not looking great. But Texas Tech was more obliging to the Wildcats, and K-State got back in the win column.
Fast-forward to today, and the Wildcats will be looking for a KU-game-like performance, and not a WVU-game showing. This is a game the Wildcats should win, all things being equal, but it’s not going to be easy. Tech has talent on offense, and will test the Wildcats still-depleted secondary. That secondary held up admirably against OU, including making game-defining positive plays for the Wildcats. The K-State offense will have to help out the defense either by staying on the field for long periods, or scoring lots. They showed against OU that they can do the latter, but they really need to avoid three-and-outs which are still a bit of a problem in Year 2 of the Messignham offense.
The Wildcats should emerge victorious today. But they can’t let their guard down or it could get embarrassing for K-State.
After two straight 11am kickoffs, we’re back in the afternoon time slot today. The 2:30pm CT kickoff will be shown nationally on FS1, with (presumably in Manhattan) Joe Davis (play-by-play) and Mark Helfrich (analyst) on the call. The game should also be available streaming via Fox Sports Go. Be sure and check out Jon’s complete How To Watch guide for more info.
If for some reason you don’t get FS1, or can’t access the stream, the game can be heard across the 39-station K-State Sports Network with Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), former K-State quarterback Stan Weber (analyst), and Matt Walters (sidelines) calling the action. The game will also be on Sirius channel 138, XM Channel 199, and available on the TuneIn app. Live stats are available at k-statesports.com, and Twitter updates (@KStateFB) will also be a part of the coverage.