MANHATTAN — For his entire coaching career, Kansas State football assistant Conor Riley patrolled the sideline on game days, making sure his offensive line was locked in and in sync.
When it came to his players, he was always hands on.
So, imagine the separation anxiety Riley felt on Dec. 28, when as the Wildcats’ interim offensive coordinator for the Pop-Tarts Bowl, he had to move upstairs to the coaching booth and leave his linemen to fend for themselves.
“It changed significantly,” Riley said of the experience in the booth, which despite his new job title helped produce a 28-19 K-State victory over North Carolina State in Orlando. “As it pertains to the offensive line, it is a little bit harder to see some of the things and just pay attention to those five guys up front.”
Kansas State Football vs. NC State, December 28, 2023. Final: KSU 28, NCS 19, . Avery Johnson’s first career start at Quarterback. First Pop-tarts Bowl (Photo: Chandler Mixon/K-State Sports)
Related: Kansas State football keeping Conor Riley as offensive coordinator
Fortunately for Riley and the Wildcats, he was able to lean on tight ends coach Brian Lepak, a former Oklahoma offensive lineman, to act as his eyes and ears on the sideline while he dealt with the bigger picture.
K-State head coach Chris Klieman turned to Riley when offensive coordinator Collin Klein left for a similar position at Texas A&M in early December. The two go back more than a decade from their days winning FCS national championships at North Dakota State to the past five seasons in Manhattan.
It turned out to be a wise decision as the Wildcats scored three first-half touchdowns, produced 435 yards of total offense, and with the game on the line in the fourth quarter put together two classic drives to preserve the victory. Shortly after, Klieman removed the interim tag,…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/kansas-state-football-offensive-coordinator-100149507.html
Author : The Topeka Capital-Journal
Publish date : 2024-02-10 10:01:49
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