College football came to a close last night, with Clemson scoring the last 30 points of the season to dominate Alabama, 44-16, in the National Championship Game.
The game looked like it might be a track meet early, with both teams scoring before three minutes had elapsed, and Clemson holding a 14-13 lead with 6:23 to play in the first quarter. But after an Alabama field goal in the first minute of the second period, K-State’s favorite son Brent Venables found the formula, and his Clemson defense locked down the Crimson Tide offense, shutting them out the rest of the way.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa says it wasn’t the Clemson defense, but his own failure to execute that doomed the Tide. Whatever, Tua. We saw that awesome Tiger defensive front harry you into those mistakes.
Man. Wouldn’t it be fun to see the Wildcats in one of these games someday? Fans have to dream, right? Isn’t that kind of the point of all this?
On to the actual K-State news.
With a record of 69-6 and four FCS national championships on his resume, Coach Klieman’s coaching success has been impressive. North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick attributes a large portion of that success to the fact that Klieman genuinely cares about his players. In Stick’s own words about Klieman:
“You’re getting a great man, one that’s going to live his life with great integrity. You’re going to be part of his family. He’s going to care about you and push you and challenge you and hold you accountable more than anybody else. As an athlete, as a competitor, as a man, what more could you ask for? [K-State is] really lucky to have him.”
Kellis Robinett summarized new offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham’s offensive philosophy as something that should seem familiar to K-State fans. There is a bit more specific information in the article, but try this on for a broad mission statement:
“If you went in there and tried to be a spread, totally zone-read (offense) and go fast and get a 100 snaps a game I just don’t think that would make us different,” Messingham said. “And we need to be different. We need to try and force defensive coordinators in that league to defend everything for us to truly be good and have something we can hang our hat on.”
The athletic department dropped a playoff edition of its “Wildcats in the NFL” feature, highlighted by Tyler Lockett’s 194 all-purpose yards in the Seahawks’ disappointing 24-22 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
More bad news for Jeff Mittie’s team, as it dismissed sophomore post player Maary Lakes after her second arrest in six months on domestic violence charges.
The dismissal comes at a bad time, as K-State journeys to Waco to face No. 4 Baylor Wednesday night. The Bears capped off their non-conference season by knocking off the indomitable Connecticut Huskies, 69-57. It was UConn’s first regular-season loss since 2014 and established Baylor (again) as the clear favorite to win the Big 12.
K-State, for its part, opened Big 12 play with a 38-point loss to Iowa State in Ames and a 30-point win over Oklahoma at home.
If you are a baseball junkie and can afford to drop half a Benjamin on a dinner, you might want to attend the first ever “Baseball Night in Manhattan” on February 8. For $50 ($30 for those 13 and under), you get a dinner, a K-State baseball t-shirt, a commemorative “gift” specific to the occasion, and direct access to players and coaches on Pete Hughes’s first Wildcats baseball team.