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Three Things Kansas State Coach Chris Klieman Said ahead of the Wildcats’ Trip to Stillwater

On OSU’s QB situation, last season’s drumming and being 0-2 in Stillwater.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Cowboys and Wildcats should both enter their Friday night matchup fresh, with both teams coming off an open week.

Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Boone Pickens Stadium, where Chris Klieman will make his third trip to Stillwater as K-State’s coach. Here are three things he said this week entering his matchup with the Cowboys.

On OSU’s Quarterback Situation

For the first time this season an opposing coach knows who the Cowboys’ starting quarterback will be entering a game.

Mike Gundy on Monday named Alan Bowman the starter for Friday night’s matchup. In OSU’s 34-27 loss to Iowa State, Bowman was the first OSU quarterback this season to play a full game. He threw for 278 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in that outing.

Klieman was asked about the Pokes’ three-quarterback system and how he prepares for it this week.

“You’ve gotta look at all the guys that have played, but the most recent one was the Iowa State game where Bowman played the entirety of that game,” Klieman said. “I thought they did some really, really good things offensively, so that would be the anticipation, and then we’ve gotta adapt and adjust if it’s somebody else. But I would anticipate Bowman playing.”

This will be the second time Klieman has faced Bowman, with the first meeting not lasting all that long. Bowman left in the first quarter of Texas Tech’s 2020 loss to the Wildcats with injury. He was 4-for-7 with 23 yards when he left.

Klieman was also asked whether he looks back to Bowman’s film at Tech in preparation for this week’s game.

“No, it was a long time ago — a long time ago,” Klieman said. “He’s one of those guys that has played a lot of football. When you have that much experience, I mean, look at Will (Howard), just playing that much, practicing that much, there’s not a lot of pictures that fool ya. I don’t see this kid being fooled by any pictures. We’ll look at how he’s done within the scheme at Oklahoma State.”

On Last Season’s Drumming

The Cowboys are 3-7 in their past 10 games going back to last season — a run of form that started with a brutal 48-0 loss in Manhattan.

That game in the Little Apple featured the Cowboys rushing for just 54 yards on 1.8 yards per carry, and the Wildcats won the total yards battle 495-217.

“It was a big win, for sure,” Klieman said of the 2022 meeting. “We played well, but two totally different teams in my mind. A lot of things went right for us last year and made some plays. But I don’t take a lot from it. We don’t look at the film and say, ‘Boy, we’re gonna get this or that’ because it’s just two totally different teams.”

On Not Having Won in Stillwater

Here comes an unstoppable-force-meets-an-immovable-object moment: despite last season’s shellacking in Manhattan, Chris Klieman has yet to win in Stillwater.

In 2019, Klieman’s first year at K-State, the Wildcats lost 26-13 in Boone Pickens Stadium before returning two years later and falling 31-20.

Before this season’s four Big 12 additions, Klieman had won at eight of the 10 Big 12 stadiums — the only two exceptions are Boone Pickens Stadium and Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

“I don’t lose any sleep over it,” Klieman said. “We just gotta play good football.

“… It’s just winning on the road in general. We haven’t played our best football down there. But you can correlate that to we haven’t won the line of scrimmage. If you don’t win the line of scrimmage — either side of the ball — and they’re able to stop our rush and they’re able to rush the football, whether you’re playing in the street, parking lot or home or away, it comes down to a mentality of being able to be physical and win the line of scrimmage.”

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