Nov 16, 2021 11:28 PM

K-State football holds weekly press conference

Posted Nov 16, 2021 11:28 PM

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman and select players met with members of the media on Tuesday at the Vanier Family Football Complex as the Wildcats prepare to host No. 11 Baylor on Saturday in K-State’s Senior Day contest.

The Wildcats and Bears kick off at 4:30 p.m., on Saturday inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium in a game televised by FS1 with Aaron Goldsmith and Mark Helfrich on the call.


CHRIS KLIEMAN, HEAD COACH

Opening Statement…

“Good afternoon, everyone. Hard to believe it's mid-November and we're on to our last home game. It's senior day, and I think we have 31 maybe (32) coming out, somewhere in that range for the last game at The Bill, or potentially last game at The Bill. That's something we're going to talk about for the next few years, I think, but a number of them I know it's their last game, and I'm excited for those guys to play at home one more time in front of these great fans and a great crowd. We're going to play a great opponent. Baylor's a really good football team. They deserve all the accolades they're getting. I think they're good in all three phases – offense, defense and teams, are obviously really well coached. They're playing really fast and confident, and so we're going to have our hands full. Make sure we have great plans, offense, defense, special teams, and our guys have good confidence right now. They have great belief. Now we just have to put the plan together and be able to go out and execute. Last week was a big win over West Virginia at home, a really good West Virginia team. I know that helps with the added confidence that our guys have that we're playing our best football as we finish the month of November.”

On why Deuce Vaughn has been so durable and versatile...

“Well, durability is because he takes care of his body. He does so many things behind the scenes, whether it's in the training room, the strength and conditioning area, nutrition, just always making sure that he does a great job with his body. We're trying to move him around. We know that sometimes he's as good a decoy as there is in college football, so he's allowing other guys to be able to make plays. We're also finding ways of getting him the football. When he gets the ball in space, as we all know, he can make a highlight film at any time. He's just playing at a really confident level and understands what we're doing offensively. I appreciate the way that Mess (Courtney Messingham) and the offensive staff have continued to try to move him around to get him the ball.”

On Baylor’s defense against Oklahoma...

“They’re fast. They’re physical. They’re a veteran crew. I think they're good at all three levels. They've got some really terrific defensive linemen. I really like their linebackers, and their secondary is really sound as well. To do what they're doing defensively, you have to be good at all three levels and they are.”

On defensive back Ross Elder...

“He's playing with a lot of confidence. I know it was an important offseason for him to put some weight and some strength on, and he did that. He's 190 (pounds). Last year he wasn't anywhere near that. I think he's put on 15-18 pounds and is playing with more confidence. We've kind of moved him around positionally, and I think moving him to the weak side safety and putting Jahron (McPherson) as our ‘Jack’ player or middle safety was a good move for both those guys. Ross has really benefited from that. I'm excited for Ross.”

On why Jaren Lewis was put in at the end of the West Virginia game instead of Will Howard...

“That was what that decision was at that time. Will's a team guy, and if we need to play him, we will without question. He's taken the same amount of reps as Jaren has, but at that time and in that part of the game, we didn't think it was wise to give him those snaps.”