Kansas State head football coach Chris Klieman held his weekly press conference Tuesday as the football team gets ready for his first road trip as a Wildcat: Mississippi State.
Sophomore defensive end Wyatt Hubert left last week’s game against Bowling Green in the first half with an unspecified injury.
He was not the only Wildcat to suffer an injury in the game, but Klieman indicated in the post-game press conference that while the other player could have returned if needed, Hubert could not.
“I would hope [Hubert would be able to play],” Klieman said. “He didn’t participate [Monday], we’ll see him [Tuesday] even if it’s limited. We’re hopeful that he can.”
Klieman’s optimism about Hubert’s ability to play next week is a good sign. K-State needs all hands on deck in the front seven to stop Bulldog junior running back Kylin Hill. Hubert may be K-State’s best player in that category.
Hill ran for 211 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the matchup last season in Manhattan on only 17 carries. This year, he averages 9.7 yards per carry and already has 320 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s a great player, it’s fun to watch him,” Klieman said. “Hopefully it’s not going to be fun to watch him live, but he’s tremendous.”
Klieman also mentioned that he is good at breaking tackles and is hard to bring down, but is also very fast and agile. He is the centerpiece of the Bulldog offense.
K-State will try to focus on slowing him down on defense, Klieman said, which is probably the correct strategy to try to stop the Mississippi State offense.
Need more cowbell
K-State heads into its first hostile environment of the season, and Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field is a tough place to play.
The stadium was built in 1914 and has been renovated and expanded to hold a little over 61,300 people. That is not a huge stadium by college football standards, but Mississippi State has a tradition that helps them be a little louder: cowbells.
Klieman indicated the Wildcats have pumped jet noise into practices to simulate a loud crowd in the preparation for every game this season and they will continue to do so.
“We have a mobile speaker, I don’t know what they play but it’s loud I can’t hear anything,” junior quarterback Skylar Thompson said. “The cowbells are loud and whatnot, but that’s what makes it fun. That’s the the type of atmosphere that I want to play in.”
K-State’s game at Mississippi State kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday and can be viewed on ESPN.