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Instant Reaction: Goodbye, Kliff Kingsbury

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We gave you five years. You gave us mediocrity at best.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Five years, and this is what we have to show for it. Kingsbury’s tenure should be remembered for being almost good, but overwhelmingly terrible at the same time. I’ll always remember him favorably for what he did as a quarterback, but as a coach - I give him a solid F+. I dare one of you Kingsbury apologist to explain/sell me that you want another few seasons of this? No, we’re better than that. This is a proud school that wins more than they lose, and we go to bowl games. WE ARE NOT BEHOLDEN TO A COACH WHO CAN’T DELIVER A CONSISTENT WINNING RECORD. Period.

Let’s talk notes/highlights/lowlights.

99.1% - According to ESPN, we had a 99.1% chance to win this game with 3:45 seconds left. Let that sink in.

Attendance - I don’t even want to hear it. People attend when you win, and this team hasn’t been winning. Want to know when a coach is about to be fired? Look at who’s coming to the games. You think the alumni who spend $4,000/season for a parking pass on the West side are going to keep doing that for losing records? Doubt it. Winning cures everything.

Kingsbury - You decided to mail it in with 42 seconds left in the game. Remember when you said, “fortune favors the bold.” Real bold call to do what you did there. You’re done, and today inched me past the threshold. The moment you played to not lose, is the moment lost your job. Also, what was that 4th down play call at the end of overtime? Give your team a chance to win.

Pass Defense - How do you allow a 3rd String quarterback to torch you on the most crucial drive of the game? Seriously, how does that happen. Obviously, K-State isn’t a passing team, but they sufficiently carved you up when they felt like it.

Keke Coutee - He’s clearly your best player, and it’s not even close. He dominated this game from the start to finish. That 75-yard bomb was a thing of beauty, but it’s his work on those quick outs that always stands out to me. It’s unfortunate that his talent has been wasted these past two years.

Nic Shimonek - He airmails every third or forth throw, and the game generally hinges on if our receivers can come down with these passes. It was ironic that the game came down to him airmailing his final throw.

TJ Vasher - Three drops, but a crucial touchdown. He’s a future superstar, but he’s certainly not a reliable performer quite yet.

Tre King - I love this guy, and I love that he wants the ball in his hands. It bothers me though that Kingsbury doesn’t consistently give him reps. You’ll see King get tons of action in the 1st quarter, and then generally in the 4th quarter when the defense knows what’s coming. Terrible utilization of one of your better performers.

Tony Jones - When Kolin Hill was ejected for targeting, I’ll admit I was terrified that Kansas State would exploit Jones’s lack of size on the edge. What happened was a solid pass rush, and great hustle when the quarterback moved around. Great game for Jones, but it didn’t make enough of a difference.

Targeting calls - They played a major role in the outcome of this game. Whether it’s Jah’Shawn Johnson missing the first half, Broderick Washington’s called of targeting call, or Kolin Hill being ejected. Also, can you imagine how this game ends if Alex Delton is still at quarterback? On the plus side, the K-State player that was ejected was their starting nickel back.

Pass interference calls - No doubt about it, the PI calls also hurt both squads immensely. Specifically, Jaylon Lane’s PI for K-Stat’s last drive was brutal. Nevertheless, if DJ Reid doesn’t hold Cantrell on that 3rd down, we probably lose the game a lot earlier. For what it’s worth, Cantrell was held again in the end zone during OT, but this team didn’t deserve the break there.

In closing, on the VERY off chance that we win two of our final three games, remember what happened today, and remember what happened against Iowa State. Recall what West Virginia did to you. And, before you tell me that this team is “close”? Remember that “close” is spoken like a fan who’s beaten down, and is trying to justify being a loser.

Better days lie ahead for this program. Keep your heads up. Wreck ‘Em.