K-State Runs Past Nicholls, Opens Klieman Era with 49-14 Victory

Head Coach Chris Klieman, Photo Courtesy of K-State Athletics
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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Five different Kansas State players rushed for a touchdown on Saturday afternoon (August 31), propelling K-State to a 49-14 season and Head Coach Chris-Klieman-era opening victory against Nicholls State.

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With a strong first half performance that included four rushing touchdowns and a turnover forced by the Wildcats defensive backfield, K-State pushed ahead 28-0 and never looked back. In the second quarter alone, the Wildcats gained 106 yards on the ground while tacking on two scores. K-State outpaced Nicholls State in the time of possession game by over 13 minutes to end the first half of play.

After allowing a 26-yard touchdown to the Colonels to open the second half, K-State would continue to increase its lead at the start of the fourth quarter with a 38-yard touchdown from junior quarterback Skylar Thompson to senior Dalton Schoen.

Two plays later, junior strong safety Jonathan Alexander stripped and recovered a fumble for a touchdown to expand Kansas State’s lead to 42-7, capping off a night where the defense allowed just 276 total yards while holding the Colonels passing game to 126 yards in the air.

Senior running back James Gilbert led all Wildcats with 115 yards while averaging 6.4 yards per carry on the night.

The victory over the Colonels represents the 200th win in Bill Snyder Family Stadium for the Wildcats and the 22nd straight victory for a Chris Klieman-led team, dating back to his time as the head coach at North Dakota State.

K-State 1-0 (0-0, Big 12)
Nicholls State 0-1 (0-0, Southland)

K-State hosts Bowling Green (1-0, 0-0) in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on September 7 at 11:00 a.m. CT. The game will be aired on the Fox Sports Network (FSN) and also serves as the Extra Yard For Teachers and Junior Wildcats Day.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.