Connect with us

Kansas

Kansas State football coaches had a busy summer preparing for five Big 12 opponents

Published

on

Kansas State football coaches had a busy summer preparing for five Big 12 opponents


play

When the Big 12 announced its scheduling matchups for the next four years back in November of 2023, Kansas State football coach Chris Klieman knew that he and his staff were in for a long summer.

Advertisement

Advanced scouting is challenging enough when preparing for familiar conference opponents. Just imagine getting ready to face five new ones in one season.

That is exactly where the Wildcats find themselves in 2024 with a schedule that features five first-time conference opponents. Welcome league newcomers Arizona, Arizona State and Colorado, plus second-year members Brigham Young and Cincinnati.

“It definitely gave us a lot more work in the summer,” Klieman said Tuesday during his Big 12 media day news conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The month of June is already busy enough with recruiting and camps, and now we don’t have the database like you’d have with a (Texas) Tech or a Baylor or a TCU.

Kansas State football receiving corps long on potential but short on proven production

Who are the top candidates to take over as Kansas State football’s next tight end?

Advertisement

“We’ve got five new schools. Even BYU and Cincinnati have been in our league, but we didn’t play them last year, so we don’t have much data on them. Then we’ve got the two Arizona schools and Colorado, so it’s a lot of work.”

To be fair, the Big 12 is only responsible for Arizona State, Colorado, BYU and Cincinnati. Arizona was scheduled years ago as a nonconference opponent, and there simply was not enough time for either team to find a replacement game.

That’s fine with Klieman.

Advertisement

“I’m glad that we’re playing Arizona,” he said of the prime-time matchup on Friday, Sept. 13 in Manhattan. “They’re a terrific football program, and it’s a great early-season game for the Big 12 to get on national TV on a Friday night.

Kansas State football will face Arizona in Friday night nonconference showdown on FOX

“So that excites us, and I know it excites Arizona. There’s really good talent on both teams.”

The fact that K-State was No. 2 and Arizona No. 5 in conference preseason polls doesn’t hurt. The same can’t be said for the Wildcats’ other first-time opponents, with all four picked to finish in the bottom half of the standings.

Still, K-State super-senior linebacker Austin Moore, said the players have no complaints about the schedule.

Advertisement

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement around it, just seeing some of those places,” he said of road trips to Colorado and BYU. “Getting to play in Boulder, getting to play in Provo, it’s definitely exciting.”

Even Klieman, the extra prep work notwithstanding, embraces the idea of bringing some new blood into the league.

“I think it’s excitement for the fans for both schools, as far as whether it’s us going to Provo (BYU) and seeing a great environment — because I’ve been there and I know it’s a phenomenal environment — to us going to Boulder and seeing a great environment, or those other schools potentially coming to our place and seeing a great environment in Manhattan,” Klieman said. “I think the fan bases of all the schools are going to be excited because they’re going to see really good football, and they’re going to see some different teams that they haven’t seen throughout the years.”

Arne Green is based in Salina and covers Kansas State University sports for the Gannett network. He can be reached at agreen@gannett.com or on Twitter at @arnegreen.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kansas

Kansas State football suddenly has depth, experience on defensive line for 2024

Published

on

Kansas State football suddenly has depth, experience on defensive line for 2024


play

Kansas State football coach Chris Klieman has good reason for touting his defensive line as an asset heading into the 2024 season.

It starts with experience, as in three super-seniors, two of whom have been with the program for six years. And then there is a talented group of young defensive ends that may have coordinator Joe Klanderman re-examining the switch two years ago to a three-man front.

Advertisement

Even the nose tackle position, a concern after returning starter Uso Seumalo missed most of spring practice and junior college transfer Malcolm Alcorn-Crowder did not enroll at semester as expected, seems to have sorted itself out.

“We had two six-year guys decide to come back at defensive end, which was big for us,” Klieman said of returning starter Brendan Mott and Cody Stufflebean, who was a key member of last year’s rotation. “So, we’re going to rotate seven or eight guys in the defensive line, and we have a lot of depth there.”

Kansas State football quarterback Avery Johnson embraces leadership role at a young age

Kansas State football defense has addressed depth issues at nose tackle, middle linebacker

Kansas State football garners more team than individual respect in Big 12 preseason polls

Advertisement

Mott, a 6-foot-5, 244-pound former walk-on, ranked sixth in the Big 12 last year with six sacks, and he could well end up as the Wildcats’ third-leading pass rusher. Sophomore Tobi Osunsanmi, a converted linebacker, and 6-6, 282-pound redshirt freshman Chiddi Obiazor, both can get to the quarterback as well.

Here is how K-State’s defensive line might break down in 2024.

Is it time to go back to a four-man front?

The lack of depth at nose tackle in the spring led Klanderman to experiment with additional ends. But that doesn’t mean he is scrapping the 3-3-5 base defense just yet.

Advertisement

“We are a little light there,” Klanderman said of the tackle position back in April. “So, I guess in my mind it’s not so much are we going to play four-down stuff as much as it is, how can we utilize maybe another defensive end type body into what we’re already doing?

“And how can we, in that way, get our best 11 people on the field consistently.”

The facts that Obiazor is big enough to play inside if need be and the 6-5, 318-pound Alcorn-Crowder is agile enough to occasionally line up at end give the Wildcats plenty of options.

Is there enough playing time to go around at d-end?

Perhaps defensive ends coach Buddy Wyatt’s greatest challenge is finding playing time for everybody.

In addition to Mott, Stufflebean, Obiazor and Osunsanmi, the Wildcats brought in sophomore transfer Travis Bates, a 2023 freshman All-American, from Austin Peay. And redshirt freshmen Jordan Allen and Ryan Davis were impressive in the spring as well.

Advertisement

“I like to play a lot of people,” Wyatt said. “It’s going to be a juggling act, and it’s going to be based on those guys. If they’re ready to play and they put in the work and we know we can count on them and they know how to do it, they’ll play.”

Uso Seumalo’s return solidified nose tackle position

After transferring from Garden City Community College in 2022, the 6-3, 337-pound Seumalo spent his first season backing up Eli Huggins in the middle. He moved into the starting lineup last year, appearing in 11 games before missing the last two with an injury.

Even as a super-senior, he is relatively new to the position, having only played one year of high school football in his native Hawaii. But he showed enough last year to receive All-Big 12 honorable mention from the league coaches.

With Seumalo sidelined, it meant more opportunities during the spring for junior Damian Ilalio, who started three games as a sophomore. Redshirt freshman Asher Tomaszewski also got plenty of work.

The wildcard is Alcorn-Crowder, a redshirt sophomore, who recorded 28 tackles, 10 of them for loss with seven sacks and two forced fumbles in nine games last year at Butler Community College. He was rated the No. 4 overall junior college prospect in the Class of 2024 by On3 and No. 5 by ESPN.

Advertisement

Arne Green is based in Salina and covers Kansas State University sports for the Gannett network. He can be reached at agreen@gannett.com or on Twitter at @arnegreen.



Source link

Continue Reading

Kansas

Jalon Daniels provides the twist Kansas football’s new offensive coordinator is bringing

Published

on

Jalon Daniels provides the twist Kansas football’s new offensive coordinator is bringing


play

LAWRENCE — It didn’t take long, as Lance Leipold took his turn to speak at the podium, for the topic of his offensive coordinator to come up.

Leipold, Kansas football’s head coach, was speaking Wednesday at Big 12 Conference media days in Las Vegas. He mentioned how much he appreciated the more than a decade Andy Kotelnicki, now the offensive coordinator at Penn State, spent with him across multiple stops. Leipold couldn’t fault Kotelnicki, who’s had a desire to be a head coach himself one day, for making a move that could help him grow even further.

Advertisement

But with that moment, also came the chance for Leipold to highlight the addition of Jeff Grimes as the team’s new offensive coordinator/assistant head coach. Grimes, who’ll be assisted by the return of co-offensive coordinator Jim Zebrowski, is someone Leipold admired during Grimes’ time as the offensive coordinator at Baylor in recent years. And not only has Leipold enjoyed being able to work with Grimes, but Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels is excited about the twist Grimes is providing their offense.

Allen Fieldhouse’s capacity will be 15,300 after renovations, plus more KU Athletics news

What to watch for around Kansas baseball in the 2024 MLB Draft

“Kansas football, we’re known for having a lot of gadget plays, a lot of shifts and motions going in,” Daniels, a redshirt junior, said during a TV appearance on ESPNU at media days. “Trust me, nothing in that nature is going to change. But, without giving too much, I’m just going to say we’re going to add a few little sprinkles of how we’re able to line up formationally and having a lot of our playmakers be able to make plays in different spots rather than just their main one.”

Daniels has more on his mind than acclimating to Kansas’ new-look offense. He’s coming back from an injury that cut his 2023 season short. But Daniels volunteered Wednesday if the Jayhawks had a game the next day he’d be fine, and said he’s made adjustments — including core work five-to-six times each week — to ensure he’ll be ready health-wise.

Advertisement

With a healthy Daniels, Kansas has an offense that’s capable of being one of the best in Big 12. At running back alone, there’s senior Devin Neal and redshirt junior Daniel Hishaw Jr. At wide receiver, there’s a trio of senior wide receivers in Luke Grimm, Quentin Skinner and Lawrence Arnold, and that’s before getting into the potential at tight end and the offensive line.

Maybe there will be a period of adjustment early in the season, with Grimes at the helm offensively, and maybe there won’t. But in his interview with ESPNU, Leipold noted Grimes’ familiarity with the Big 12 and creativity offensively — especially in the running game — as two reasons the new OC fits with what the Jayhawks are trying to do on that side of the ball. Grimes also joined with a familiarity for another one of Leipold’s assistant coaches.

“Jonathan Wallace, our running backs coach, was a player at Auburn when Jeff was there,” Leipold said. “They knew each other. The three of us met in Dallas and we started talking about some things. And it was mainly, can we continue our identity and then add something to it?”

Advertisement

Jordan Guskey covers University of Kansas Athletics at The Topeka Capital-Journal. He is the National Sports Media Association’s sportswriter of the year for the state of Kansas for 2022. Contact him at jmguskey@gannett.com or on Twitter at @JordanGuskey.



Source link

Continue Reading

Kansas

SE 18th St. to be closed at S. Kansas Ave. starting Monday in Topeka

Published

on

SE 18th St. to be closed at S. Kansas Ave. starting Monday in Topeka


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – SE 18th St. will be closed at S. Kansas Ave. starting on Monday in Topeka, Kan.

According to the City of Topeka officials, SE 18th St. will be closed at S. Kansas Ave. and the outside northbound lane on Kansas Ave. will be closed starting on Monday, July 15. This is the closure for phase 1.

City of Topeka officials said Phase 2 will include northbound left turns from Kansas Ave. onto SW 18th St. and SW 19th St. to be closed. Additionally, the northbound outside lane on Kansas Ave., midblock between 18th and 19th St., will be closed.

Work is being done by a sanitary sewer CCTV contractor. It is estimated that this work will take three days.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending