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What Kansas St coach Klieman said about Alabama on inside kick decision

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the Alabama win 45-20 over Kansas State was compelling on many levels. After falling behind by 10 early, the Crimson Tide scored touchdowns on their next five possessions to blow up the game.

Kansas State, meanwhile, had just one field goal and one touchdown in the final three quarters as Alabama ran away with the game.

Here’s the transcript of Wildcat coach Chris Klieman’s postgame comments, courtesy of the Sugar Bowl.

Opening statement

“Yeah, let’s start where we have to start. Thank you, K-State fan base. Thank you, K-State nation, for coming out in droves. What we saw at the pep rally last night, with probably 10,000, 12,000 people supporting these guys, that’s why we all came to K‑State.

And the fans there today were phenomenal. We have made a good start. I wish I could have given them a better show after this first trimester. But I tip my hat to the best fan base in college football for their support of these great young men.

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We chatted in the locker room. Obviously disappointed with how it ended in our performance, but don’t be defined by a moment. Be remembered for your body of work. And that body of work will forever go down in Kansas State history because those guys were Big 12 champions and deserved it and earned the right to be Big 12 champions and represent our conference at the Sugar Bowl.

We didn’t play our best football today. Give Alabama credit, but appreciate the guys staying in the fight for four quarters.

Coach, did you feel like once you missed that fourth try on the goal line, everything fell out of favor and every bet you took didn’t work out?

Klieman:Yes, I would have done it again. Devil [Vaughn] would have said let’s go back. And the fact that we wanted to go ahead at halftime. There was less than a minute or a minute or whatever. Make a really good call and don’t run it.

And then shoot, they’re at the 1 yard line and we’re going to use the timeouts and try to get the football back. I mean, we’ve been in attack mode from the start.

And give these guys credit. We didn’t make a tackle when we had to. And can’t let them go 99 yards to make it what it was at the end of the first half.

A 21-10 game that — I will never question myself — and you know that because we are around us. And we went there fourth all season, when we had a chance to come back 17-14.”

Coach, in the same vein, when did you make the decision to take the free kick to start the second half?

Klieman: “When we were in the locker room talking. We worked these kicks every week throughout the year. Guys will tell you, every week, we have some. Every week we have it. And we didn’t execute it the way it was meant to be executed. We were trying to put it between the two guys.

It’s a blow. Ty [Zentner] probably didn’t hit him like he wanted to. But we also knew we had to take risks because of the last two training sessions they had in attack, where we struggled to slow them down.

And whether or not it’s an 80 or 45 yard drive, again, we came here to win, man. We didn’t come here to try to keep this thing close, whatever. We came here to win. And that’s what we thought was the best opportunity.

Coach Klieman, you talked about the importance of looking at all of the work with this team. What made this group so special in terms of character, and obviously also on the pitch?

Klieman:Yes, just the power of belief and the power of player ownership. These guys have taken over the locker room, owned by the football team.

It’s pretty special as a football manager to know that your phone isn’t ringing at night and you’re not going to let your kids do things they shouldn’t be doing. And I’ve never been around a football team that does stupid things off the pitch and succeeds on the pitch.

And those guys were phenomenal kids off the pitch. And that translates into great players on the pitch, because they’re disciplined, they’re committed. They are tough. They are selfless. This is what I will remember from this group.

Coach, on Alabama’s first two runs, you held them to 26 yards combined. Devil [Vaughn] has the 88 yard run. What adjustments, if any, did you see Alabama make that led to five straight touchdowns?

Klieman:They managed to hit the explosive game on us. It was a bit of the fear we had. They are quite talented. Their quarterback (Bryce Young) is a very good player. They have good wide receivers. And they did, I think, a very good job.

We had them in third and 10, and maybe get out of the field again. And they throw it to a really good running back. Makes the child miss. We sort of lose the cup, and it takes a huge win to make it 10-7 really quickly. I thought if we got off the pitch, but we didn’t.

That’s all. We’ve talked all year about not giving up on explosive games; and today they managed to get some on us.

Coach, you managed to get Adrian [Martinez] there for some first half shots. Were you able to execute this two-quarter strategy as you hoped?

Klieman: “I was thrilled that Adrian had the chance to play in a bowling match. He came here and transferred here to win a championship and have a chance to hopefully play in a bowling match, and we helped win the Big 12 Championship.

And when he got injured, that was the goal, was to try to get him healthy enough to play it.

It became Will Howard’s football team. Everybody knows it. But Will and Adrian are so close, I thought it was important for CK (Collin Klein) and me to try and find a way to get some shots for Adrian.

We were able to do that. I saw a big smile on his face. I saw a big smile on Will Howard’s face that Adrian had the chance to play in a bowling match.

Coach, Brian Branch, you’ve seen him all over the field when it comes to high school. But what impressed you about the ground he was able to cover against your offense?

Klieman: “Yeah, they have very good defensive players. They tackle exceptionally well. They come out of the blocks and they played well.

Coach, if you don’t mind me asking about the quarterback (Bryce Young) on ​​the other side. It’s kind of a career day for him. What were the challenges in trying to defend against him?

Klieman: “He won the Heisman for a reason, to begin with. We mixed in rush three, rush four, rush five. We were able to get a few hits on him. We managed to piss him off a bit. But when you’ve played as many snaps as he has, it’s hard to piss him off for very long. Credit to him.

And I haven’t had the chance to see it. I think I ran into one of their trainers. Just thank him, say thank you for playing, because that’s college football. I was glad Bryce played. I thought it was really good for college football and really good for kids to watch.

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