K-State versus Nicholls

Kansas State head football coach Chris Klieman claps after Skylar Thompson's touchdown run Saturday. With a 49-14 win over Nicholls, Klieman set a K-State record for margin of victory in an opener by a first-year coach.

During the second quarter of Saturday's game against Nicholls, Kansas State senior left tackle Scott Frantz went down with an undisclosed injury. This forced the Wildcats to shuffle their offensive line for the remainder of the first half.

Nick Kaltmayer — who started at right tackle — flipped to the left side to replace Frantz. Tyler Mitchell, the starting right guard, shifted out to right tackle to fill Kaltmayer’s spot. And with Mitchell on the outside, Evan Curl moved into the lineup at right guard.

Frantz’s injury didn’t prove to be serious, as he returned to his spot for the Wildcats’ initial possession in the second half.

Winning ways

With Saturday’s 49-14 victory, Chris Klieman became the third consecutive K-State head coach to win their debut, joining Bill Snyder in 1989 and Ron Prince in 2006.

Klieman also is 3-0 in inaugural games at a new school. He won his first contest at Division III Loras College in 2005 and at North Dakota State in 2014. Klieman also improved to 6-1 in season openers as a head coach and 7-0 in home openers.

Klieman-coached teams have won 22 consecutive games overall dating back to his NDSU tenure.

Run it up

K-State has three running backs on its roster who began their college careers elsewhere: Harry Trotter (Louisville), James Gilbert (Ball State) and Jordon Brown (North Carolina). All three scored rushing touchdowns Saturday.

Gilbert, who started, had the biggest day of the trio, going for 115 yards (and the aforementioned touchdown) on 18 carries. It's his ninth career game of 100 or more rushing yards as a collegian, and first since Ball State's season opener against Central Connecticut last year.

He's the first Wildcat running back to tally 100-plus rushing yards in his debut since Daniel Thomas went for 104 yards against UMass on 2009.

Home cooking

Saturday marked the 11th straight sellout for K-State in its home opener. With the victory, the Wildcats improved to 92-27-5 (.762) all-time in home openers.

Numbers to know

  • 1,055 — Career receiving yards by Dalton Schoen, who on Saturday became the 32nd player in school history to hit the 1,000-yard mark
  • 573 — Total offensive yards by the Wildcats, tied for seventh-most in school history and the most ever in a season opener.
  • 361  — rushing yards K-State finished with Saturday. It's the most yards on the ground for the Wildcats in an opener since 1981, when they ran for 368 in a 31-10 win over South Dakota.
  • 200 — Saturday’s victory was K-State's 200th at KSU/Bill Snyder Family Stadium since its inception in 1968. The Wildcats now are 200-116-3 (.629) at the stadium overall.
  • 35 — Margin of victory by the Chris Klieman-led Wildcats, the most by a head coach in their debut in school history. It bettered the previous mark of 31 points, set by the Ward Haylett-led Wildcats who topped Kansas Wesleyan 37-6 in 1942.
  • 20 — Number of Wildcats who played during the team's season-opening offensive drive.
  • 3 — Number of Wildcats who made their first-career starts on Saturday. The first-time starters were offensive lineman Evan Curl (at left guard), strong safety Wayne Jones and wide receiver Landry Weber.

Men’s basketball team honored

During a break in the action in the first quarter, K-State recognized last season’s men’s basketball team. The Wildcats were the Big 12 regular-season co-champions after posting a 14-4 mark in conference play.

The team’s two stars, Barry Brown and Dean Wade, received equally loud cheers from the crowd at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. A “BRUUUUUUUCE” chant also broke out when head coach was introduced Bruce Weber.

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