What Kansas St coach Klieman said about Alabama in the onside kick decision

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Alabama’s 45-20 victory over Kansas State was convincing on some levels. After trailing by 10 points early on, the Crimson Tide scored touchdowns on their next five possessions to open the game.

Kansas State, meanwhile, only managed one field goal and one touchdown in the final three quarters as Alabama ran away with the game.

Here’s a transcript of Wildcat head coach Chris Klieman’s postgame comments courtesy of the Sugar Bowl.

opening statement

“Yes, let’s start where you need to start. Thank you K-State fan base. Thank you, K-State Nation, for coming in droves. What we saw at the rally last night, with probably 10,000, 12,000 people backing these guys, is why we came to K-State.

And the fans out there today were phenomenal. We started well. I wish we could have given them a better show after that first quarter. But hats off to the best fan base in college football for coming out and supporting these great young men.

RELATED: ‘A slap in the face.’ Alabama takes the heart of K-State personal with the 5-star review

We talked in the locker room. Obviously disappointed in how this ended up in our performance, but don’t define yourself for a moment. Be remembered for your body of work. And that body of work will be remembered in Kansas State history forever, because these guys were Big 12 champions and they deserved and earned the right to be Big 12 champions and represent our conference in the Sugar Bowl.

We didn’t play our best football today. Give Alabama credit, but appreciate the guys who stayed in the fight for four quarters.

Coach, did you feel that one time, when you missed that fourth down on the goal line, everything changed and all the bets you made didn’t work out?

Klieman:Yes, I would have done it again. deuce [Vaughn] would have said let’s go again. And the fact that we want to go forward at half-time. Less than a minute to go or a minute or whatever it was. Make a really good call and just don’t run it.

And then shoot, they’re on the 1-yard line and we’re going to use the breaks and try to get the ball back. I mean, we’ve been in attack mode from the start.

And give these guys credit. We didn’t make a tackle when we needed to make a tackle. And I can’t let them go 99 yards to make it what it was at the end of the first half.

A 21-10 game that – I’ll never question myself – and you know that from being around us. And we’ve been trying that on fourth down all season – when we had a chance to go up 17-14.

Coach, along the same lines, when did you make the decision to try to take a side kick at the beginning of the second half?

Klieman: “When we were in the locker room talking. We work these kicks every week all year round. Guys will tell you, every week, we have it. Every week we have. And we didn’t execute the way it needed to be executed. We were trying to put it between the two guys.

That’s a strong kick. Ty [Zentner] probably didn’t hit it the way he wanted it to. But we also knew we had to risk it because of the last two runs they had in attack where we struggled to slow them down.

And whether or not it’s an 80-yard drive or a 45-yard drive, once again, we came here to win, man. We didn’t come here to try to keep that around, whatever that is. We came here to win. And that was what we thought was the best opportunity.”

Coach Klieman, you talked about the importance of looking at the whole body of work with this team. What made this group so special in terms of character and obviously also on the pitch?

Klieman:Yes, just the power of belief and the power of player ownership. These guys took over the locker room owned by the football team.

It’s pretty special as a head football coach when you know your phone isn’t ringing at night and you’re not going to have kids doing things they shouldn’t be doing. And I’ve never been around a football team that does stupid things off the field and succeeds on the field.

And these guys were phenomenal kids off the field. And that translated into great players on the field, because they are disciplined, committed. They are difficult. They are selfless. That’s what I’ll remember about this group.”

Coach, on Alabama’s first two drives, you held them to 26 combined yards. deuce [Vaughn] has the 88-yard dash. What adjustments, if any, did you see Alabama make that led to five consecutive touchdowns?

Klieman:They were able to land the explosive game on us. That was the kind of fear we had. They are very talented. Their quarterback (Bryce Young) is a really good player. They have good wide receivers. And they did, I thought, a very good job.

We had them third for 10, and maybe we’d go off the field again. And they play for a really good running back. It makes the child wrong. We kind of lost the cup, and he takes that to a huge gain to go 10-7 really fast. I thought if we had left the field, but we didn’t.

That’s the whole thing. We’ve talked all year about not giving up on explosive plays; and today they managed to catch us.

Coach, you got Adrian [Martinez] there for a few snaps in the first half. Were you able to execute this two-half-back strategy the way you had hoped?

Klieman: “I was excited that Adrian had the chance to play a game of bowls. He came here and transferred to win a championship and a chance to play in a bowl game, and he helped us win the Big 12 championship.

And when he got injured, that was the goal, was to try to get him healthy enough to play.

It became Will Howard’s football team. Everyone knows that. But Will and Adrian are so close that I thought it was important for CK (Collin Klein) and I to try to find a way to get Adrian some snaps.

We were able to do that. I saw a big smile on his face. I saw a big smile on Will Howard’s face that Adrian got the chance to play a game of bowls.”

Coach, Brian Branch, you’ve seen him all over the field as far as the secondary is concerned. But what impressed you about the ground he was able to cover against their attack?

Klieman: “Yes, they have very good defensive players. They approach exceptionally well. They come out of the blocks and play well.”

Coach, if you don’t mind me asking about the quarterback (Bryce Young) on ​​the other end. It’s kind of a career day for him. How were the challenges to try to defend yourself from him?

Klieman: “He won the Heisman for a reason to begin with. We were mixing a three-man race, a four-man race, a five-man race. We managed to land a few hits on him. We managed to mess it up a bit. But when you’ve played as many snaps as he has, it’s hard to make him nervous for long. Credit to him.

And I didn’t get a chance to see it. I think I found one of their trainers. Just said thank you, thank you for playing, because that’s what college football is all about. I was happy that Bryce played. I thought it was really good for college football and really good for kids to see.”

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