Jul 15, 2021 3:35 AM

Defense will be a key for K-State football this season

Posted Jul 15, 2021 3:35 AM

By WIBW TV

RLINGTON, Texas (WIBW) - In his third year leading the Wildcats, Chris Klieman is eager to get back to a winning record.

K-State started the 2020 season 4-1 before closing the year with five straight losses, capped off by a 69-31 loss to Texas.

It was a year filled with adversity on and off the field for K-State. Klieman’s squad was hammered by COVID cases and quarantines, often keeping dozens of players sidelined. Starting quarterback Skylar Thompson went down to injury Oct. 3 against Texas Tech and didn’t return.

But, Klieman said Wednesday at Big 12 Media Days, regardless of 2020′s obstacles, a successful 2021 relies on an improved defense.

“We did not play good defense in 2020,” Klieman said. “COVID or no COVID, it doesn’t matter. COVID doesn’t help you tackle or not tackle. We didn’t tackle well enough. For us to be successful, we have to be really good on defense and be a much better tackling team.”

K-State gave up 444.7 yards per game in 2020 — up from 364 in 2019.