The Kansas State Wildcats are coming off the largest margin of victory for a coach’s debut in school history, and there are plenty of reasons that the 49-14 win over Nicholls State could be overlooked.
The topic among players during the weekly press conference on Tuesday was whether the team can follow up that style of play again next Saturday against a team from the FCS Division 1 upper-tier Mississippi State.
“Nobody can say that [playing an FCS opponent is unimpressive] anymore,” head coach Chris Klieman said. “And I have to be honest with you: I don’t think that’s said anymore. I really don’t.”
K-State proved that they were well prepared for Nicholls in all phases of the game on Saturday.
The offensive line was the unsung star of the match. The Wildcat offense racked up 573 total yards for a net total 361 years with five touchdowns in the ground game.
“We had a successful game one, but like always you have to find ways to improve and build upon what we were able to do,” Holtorf said.
The season opener always holds more hype and anticipation, but Holtorf explained his expectation for the team going into Saturday’s matinee matchup.
“I wouldn’t say that there is a concern about it, but there is an emphasis on making sure that, that was a night game, the first game of the season,” Holtorf said. “Now this is an 11’o’clock game so making sure everyone is still as locked in and as focused as they were last week so we can replicate that energy and enthusiasm.”
The K-State held the ball for 41 minutes, or nearly 68 percent of the game, which gave K-State fans some excitement, but it keeps the defense fresh going into game two. The K-State defense also dominated the few times that they were on the field.
“That’s a good problem to have,” sophomore defensive end Wyatt Hubert said of playing few defensive snaps in week one.
“Every time we step on the field the mentality and what we expect from ourselves is to go three [downs] and out and that was something that kept happening,” Hubert said.
The Wildcat defense was not on the field for long, but competed when they had their opportunity.
“At the time we didn’t realize we were utterly on the field for 19 of the 60 minutes, but like I said, it’s a good problem to have,” Hubert said.
Klieman and his team will have a lot of these questions to answer as the Wildcats will go on the road next week for the first time against a Power Five opponent to take on Mississippi State before the following contest with Oklahoma State. But, before turning all attention to Mississippi State, K-State has a matchup with Bowling Green on Saturday.