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Football season brings change

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Also, Wildcats kick off the soccer season tonight.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Oregon v Kansas State

Football

We are down to single digit days of anticipation for Kansas State football. As BracketCat notes in the 2019 roster countdown, we’re now just #9 Logan James days from actual purple gridiron action.

But your long wait is over now. It is officially Week 1 of the 2019 college football season! Your fall binge slate begins with a rivalry game as Miami takes on #8 Florida (6PM; ESPN), and if that isn’t enough to satisfy you, there is always Pac-12 After Dark action featuring Arizona State and Hawaii (9:30PM; CBSSN).

In Manhattan, the Wildcats are readying for a new season with plenty of changes. It’s not just that Bill Snyder will no longer be walking the sidelines in the stadium that bears his name. It’s also that Chris Klieman’s approach is different, and that’s in almost every aspect of football: recruiting, practice, media access, and even social media. Whether this bears fruit on the field remains to be seen, but it’s impossible not to be at least a bit excited.

Things have changed for Collin Klein too, as he embraces his role on Klieman’s coaching staff. There’s less of the scratching and clawing he had to do as the Wildcats’ on-field coach in 2011 and 2012m and far more of off-field coaching and player mentoring.

Aside: Asked to pick his favorite game from his two seasons as Kansas State quarterback, Klein chose the 17-13 win over Texas in 2011. He’d been sick before the game, and there were rumors he wouldn’t play, leading to prognosticators picking against the Wildcats. But Klein showed up to work, and the rest is history, as Ian Boyd noted on Twitter:

As noted in yesterday’s Slate, Kansas State is already dealing with injuries to key players. Fullback Adam Harter is likely to miss the entire season, and to top things off, junior linebacker Cody Fletcher, expected to be in the mix for the Wildcats’ defense, has a lower leg injury and will miss the season opener against Nicholls.

Hopefully, Luke Sowa and maybe even freshman Jax Dineen can step into Harter’s shoes. As for Fletcher, teammates Daniel Green, Eli Sullivan, Da’Quan Patton, and possibly redshirt freshman Nick Allen are in the mix and likely to step up to replace Fletcher for the first game.

Soccer

Kansas State soccer’s fourth season will begin tonight with a first match tonight against Creighton at 6 PM in Omaha, and a second match against Omaha on Sunday afternoon. The matches will be streamed on Creighton’s and Omaha’s free all-access platforms, and radio coverage will be available on kstatesports.com.

For the program’s seniors, the first batch of Wildcat soccer players, the 2019 season is a change to redeem themselves as a unit and to set a path for the program’s future. The team is more confident and playing better, but according to Coach Mike Dibbini, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

Happy Friday!