Oct 06, 2020 6:00 PM

Chris Klieman Confident in K-State's Freshman Quarterback

Posted Oct 06, 2020 6:00 PM

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State Head Coach Chris Klieman and select players spoke to the media via Zoom on Tuesday. 

Coach Klieman opened the press conference by reiterating his pride in the team and how they worked through adversity on Saturday against Texas Tech, a game in which starting quarterback Skylar Thompson was lost due to injury, but the Wildcats were able to rally and defeat the Red Raiders 31-21.

Klieman updated the media on Thompson, who he said did not physically practice on Monday, but took mental repetitions. Klieman remained optimistic that Thompson could play on Saturday at TCU, but that the team would be evaluating him daily. 

In Thompson's absence, Freshman Will Howard was thrust into the starting role for Kansas State, completing seven of 12 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. 

Coach Klieman mentioned Howard played well and that he made great adjustments, specifically on the game-clinching touchdown pass to Deuce Vaughn. 

On that play, Howard made what Klieman said was a "great read," and made a throw to his fellow freshman running back over the middle, carrying him forward into the open field where Vaughn ran 70 yards to the end zone. 

Howard's performance Saturday appeared to give Klieman a hefty amount of confidence that if Skylar Thompson were unable to play in the upcoming matchup with TCU, the freshman would be able to step in and give Kansas State an opportunity to win.

Chris Klieman wasn't the only person to feel that way. Senior Tight End Briley Moore shared the sentiment in a simple statement. 

"Point blank, Will's a baller."

The confidence should give Wildcat fans a sense of excitement heading into this week, as K-State has an opportunity to reach a 3-0 start to Big 12 Conference play for just the sixth time. 

Kansas State and TCU will kick off at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.