Less than three full days after he coordinated the offense as the interim coordinator Kansas State’s blow-out win over LSU in the Texas Bowl, Collin Klein has been named the full-time offensive coordinator by head coach Chris Klieman.
This move became expected after K-State’s offense looked better than it had all season in the Texas Bowl, where the Wildcats racked up 442 yards of offense on 62 plays (good for 7.1 ypp), and Deuce Vaughn set school records for points in a bowl game in the 42-20 demolishing. There was also high praise from Klieman for how well-prepared the unit looked in the practices leading up to the game.
And it wasn’t just the yards or the points, but how the Wildcats came by them. 10 different Wildcats caught a pass, and five different Cats carried the ball. When LSU came blitzing out of the gate, Klein adjusted and called more short passes and inside runs to keep the Tigers defense off-balance and the K-State offense on schedule. The Cats were also aggressive on offense throughout the game, though they didn’t look out of control.
There was also wide praise from the players after the game, who felt like Klein not only called a great game, but one that played to their strengths and that they were comfortable doing. There were mixes of the Bill Snyder playbook that Klein mastered as a player, the better parts of the Messingham playbook from the past three seasons, as well as wrinkles from further afield (including some that looked to be straight out of Andy Reid's playbook in Kansas City).
There were certainly going to be some other options, but this feels like an extremely good fit for K-State and Chris Klieman. It’s not maybe a homerun, or a 70-yard TD pass, but this is a really nice stand-up double with runners on, or a 30-yard pass that moves the ball into field goal range.
Now, we wait and see who will be named to fill to two current holes on the offense coaching staff, and if Klein retains his role as QB coach or gets moved to a different position.