K-State football looks to bounce back from first loss

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:51 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Coming off its first loss of the 2022 season against Tulane, Kansas State football is looking to put it behind them and focus on what’s next.

Awaiting them on Saturday is their biggest challenge yet: No. 6 Oklahoma. The game marks the Wildcats’ first away game, and Big 12 conference opener.

Head coach Chris Klieman said this is not panic time. The team is focusing on being more aggressive on offense, converting on third and fourth down, and getting more touches to players like Malik Knowles, Phillip Brooks, and Deuce Vaughn in the passing game.

That means quarterback Adrian Martinez may have to take more risks, but the team is fully confident in their QB1.

“He’s in a new environment. Let’s not forget, he’s replacing a guy who was a pretty dang good player in Skylar Thompson. And that’s not probably the easiest thing to do,” said Coach Klieman. “I wanna let the kid breathe a little bit, and encourage him to cut it loose. But I wanna give Adrian that belief for starters, because I’ve seen it.”

Martinez and the rest of his team has had no problem putting the loss behind them and focusing on the conference slate ahead of them.

“We feel really confident going into this game, and in general in the Big 12. It’s a great opportunity for us to bounce back, I think the guys recognize that and know it can be done,” said Martinez. “The sky’s not falling, all of our goals and aspirations are still on the horizon for us. This team’s confident going into this week.”

Deuce Vaughn and the other players are in agreement. “Everything that we want is still in front of us, especially going into conference play,” said Vaughn. “You’re 0-0 going into conference play. This is the first game on that schedule, and it’s one that we’re looking forward to.”

Kickoff against Oklahoma in Norman is set for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.