Kansas State University

K-State not panicking, looking at 3-2 start through glass-half-full lens

Trey Dishon’s personality is never too panicked anyway, but he was especially relaxed Tuesday afternoon.

At Kansas State’s news conference, Dishon shined a light on the positive side of the Wildcats’ record through the first five games.

“We have a lot of guys that care, a lot of guys that are confident,” Dishon said. “I don’t think we’ve lost sight of that at all. People think the demeanor is not good, but we lost two games.

“We’re not 0-5. We’re 3-2.”

K-State’s past two games have been ugly. Saturday’s 31-12 loss to Baylor was the fewest points scored by a Wildcats offense at home against an unranked opponent in a decade. But things could be worse.

Coach Chris Klieman joined elite company as one of the only coaches in the past five years to win his first three games as the coach of a Power Five program. And K-State beat an SEC team on the road for the first time in program history.

After Saturday’s loss, Klieman told his team they would get it figured out, and “now.” They wouldn’t go into a rebuild-mode mentality and forget about their current seniors.

“It’s easy to praise everybody when you’re successful, and it’s easy to be negative when you’re not,” Klieman said. “I think sometimes in this world, we’re probably too negative.”

The seniors have taken it upon themselves to keep the vibe light around the locker room, Dishon said. They have lost two straight games before. They have lost three straight twice before.

Dishon said he believes there is something that makes this year’s team different.

“I think we have it,” Dishon said. “We just haven’t put it all together yet. We’re seeing some things on Saturday that we’re not used to seeing, and that’s just because we’re in Big 12 play. You’re going to see different stuff from different teams. You’re never going to be ready.”

Dishon said he thinks it’s better the Wildcats got hit at the beginning of the season rather than the end. There is still time to adjust. Ahead of the Baylor game, Klieman said more or less the same.

He believe getting back on track is about repetition in practice but also being able to make changes when a scheme changes in the game.

“That’s something with us just being three (now five) games into our tenure here: There’s a lot of adapting and adjusting we haven’t been able to do yet,” Klieman said last week. “Nobody wants to hear it, but we’re going to go through some growing pains. We have to find our way through those and make sure we eliminate some of those mistakes.”

Klieman’s response was prompted by a question about missed assignments along the offensive line that led to a meager rushing output at Oklahoma State. With five seniors on the offensive line, center Adam Holtorf said he takes seriously his responsibility as a counterweight to any negativity.

“It’s not a question of ‘if’ we can get it done,” Holtorf said. “Everybody believes in each other and knows there’s so much they can do to continue to get better.”

Defensive end Wyatt Hubert said improvement will be a day-to-day process. Since Klieman took over, he has preached stacking good days of work upon good days of work.

“Coach Klieman is very realistic in every situation,” Hubert said. “The realism he showed yesterday was that, ‘Hey, we’re 3-2. Everyone just needs to calm down and take a deep breath. We’ll be fine.’”

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Wichita Eagle preps reporter Hayden Barber brings the area updates on all high school sports while adding those hard-to-find human-interest stories on Wichita’s student-athletes.