Chris Klieman shares injury update on key K-State defender ahead of Iowa State game

Chandler Mixon/K-State Athletics

The Kansas State football team was without one of its top defensive linemen for much of its thrilling victory over rival Kansas last week.

Uso Seumalo, a 6-foot-3 and 340-pound defensive tackle, left the game after making just one tackle because of an undisclosed injury. He was unable to play at all during the second half and his availability for K-State’s next game remains a mystery.

Will he be ready to play when K-State hosts Iowa State at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in the regular-season finale for both teams?

Head coach Chris Klieman made it sound like he could be considered questionable.

“He would probably be day-to-day,” Klieman said. “I don’t know. He’s got a chance, maybe. He didn’t practice yesterday. So we will see how he does throughout the week.”

The Wildcats hope Seumalo will be healthy enough to play against the Cyclones, because he is one of the best defensive tackles in the Big 12.

The senior from Maunaloa, Hawaii, has made 17 tackles this season, including 1.5 for loss.

He is an excellent run-stopper. And his presence on the defensive line also forces opposing teams to focus so much on him that defensive ends like Khalid Duke and Nate Matlack end up having extra room to rush the quarterback.

His size alone makes him a difficult player to block. K-State coaches like to say he “can block out the sun.”

Seumalo is a senior who has the option to return for one more season with the Wildcats. He will participate in senior-day ceremonies on Saturday even if he doesn’t end up playing. A decision will be made about his future after the season.

If he remains on the sideline, K-State will likely turn to Jevon Banks and Damian Ilalio at defensive tackle. There is also a possibility that offensive lineman Cooper Beebe will play a few snaps on defense near the goal line.