February 3, 2023

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Soccer season-in-review: Toppling prime groups and convention champions

Head coach Chris Klieman hoists the Massive 12 Champion trophy after defeating TCU in extra time 31-28 on Dec. 3. (Archive photograph by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State triumphantly completed the 2022-23 soccer season with a Massive 12 championship win and Sugar Bowl look.

Although the loss to Alabama was robust, it was a reminder of how spectacular the season has been. 

The thought that Ok-State would play amongst one of the best in faculty soccer was not a thought-about chance early on. Preseason polling projected the Wildcats to position fifth within the Massive 12, regardless of having a league-high of six gamers named to the all Preseason All-Massive 12 Workforce. 

Within the offseason, Ok-State sought out veteran quarterback Adrian Martinez. Martinez performed for Nebraska for 4 seasons earlier than his switch. As a Cornhusker, Martinez recorded first rate numbers, with 3,388 yards from scrimmage and 27 whole touchdowns in his remaining season.

Martinez made his debut and introduced an edge to the Ok-State dashing assault. Notably, his efficiency in opposition to Oklahoma at Norman confirmed how particular each Martinez and the crew might be when the lights are brightest.

The biggest problem for Martinez throughout his profession at Nebraska was turnovers. He was in a position to restrict this as a Wildcat, although his accidents continued all through the season, permitting backup quarterback Will Howard to step in and take management of the offense. 

From his begin in opposition to TCU, Howard introduced stability to the Ok-State offense along with his passing assault, recording two passing and one dashing landing to at least one interception in his first displaying.

Howard put up profession numbers in solely seven video games, posting a career-high 1,633 passing yards and 15 touchdowns to solely 4 interceptions for a formidable passer ranking of 149.6. 

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A lot of Howard and Martinez’s success got here from offensive coordinator Collin Klien. In his first 12 months, Ok-State averaged 32.3 factors per sport and completed with the second most dashing yards per sport within the Massive 12.

Ok-State was final within the Massive 12 in passing yards per sport at 210.5, however rose to 272 yards per sport by the air after Howard got here in.

Defensively, Ok-State was close to the highest of the league with the fourth finest whole protection within the Massive 12, with star defensive gamers like Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Jaylen Pickle and Kobe Savage main the defensive unit.

Wanting forward, Ok-State could have a younger roster going into subsequent season with new gamers gaining bigger roles as star gamers Deuce Vaughn and Felix Anudike-Uzomah can be leaving for the 2023 NFL draft. The recruiting class for Ok-State is trying optimistic for the 2023-24 season.

4-star athletes Avery Johnson, Asa Newsom and Jordan Allen make up the present roster of Ok-State commits and look to contribute early of their careers. 

The switch portal introduced in just a few gamers together with operating again Treshaun Ward from Florida State and vast receiver Keagan Johnson from Iowa.

Although many skilled gamers will depart, new recruits and transfers carry potential to proceed Ok-State’s success. With the departure of each Oklahoma and Texas in 2024, the window is open for packages like TCU and Ok-State.