K-State football to spend second bye week refocusing after losses

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K-State's football team and head coach Chris Klieman runs out onto the field before K-State's football game against Baylor in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Oct. 5, 2019. The Wildcats fell to the Bears 31-12. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The K-State football team has a second bye week in four weeks this Saturday after losing two straight in convincing fashion.

After the loss to Oklahoma State on September, the message from players and coaches in the mid-week press conference was that of focusing on executing. This week, head coach Chris Klieman said the Wildcats will focus on fixing mistakes.

“We need to make a number of corrections,” Klieman said. “I know the players and coaches were disappointed from Saturday because we didn’t meet the expectations that we want to have.”

Despite the disappointment, Klieman said that he wants to avoid being too negative and instead emphasize what went wrong the past two weeks and focus on growth.

When it comes to what to emphasize, Klieman said that there is “no stone unturned” in film review to try to find what went wrong.

“Is it ability? Is it coaching? Is it scheme? Is it lack of experience under our scheme? I think we look at everything,” Klieman said. “We’re up there all day Sunday, all night Sunday night and Monday night… trying to see what will make us better.”

One of those areas is explosive plays, a statistic that Klieman pointed to as one that he uses to evaluate play.

“It’s an emphasis on defense that we have to limit and eliminate,” Klieman said. “Most of that stuff is tackling.”

Another specific thing that Klieman wants to work on is offensive third down situations, the Wildcats converted just three of 22 third downs between the losses at Oklahoma State and at home against Baylor.

“We have to keep working harder at them and we have to keep emphasizing them,” Klieman said. “We’re looking at those this week. We’re going to put [the offense] against our first[-team] defense and say ‘here’s the situations.'”

Klieman specified situations in that quote to refer to not only specific defensive looks, but also just working against starting-level athletes because in-game situations are different from going against the scout team.

After the bye this week, K-State will host TCU at 1:30 in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The broadcast schedule for that week has not been set yet. The TCU game will kickoff a stretch of seven-straight games to end the season.

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