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K-State Faces Road Test at Baylor

K-State Athletics ReleaseNovember 7, 2022

Game 10
23/22 K-State at rv/rv Baylor

Date: Saturday, November 12, 2022

Kickoff: 6 p.m.

Location: Waco, Kan.

Stadium: McLane Stadium (45,140)

Series: Baylor leads, 10-9

TV: FS1 (watch)

Adam Alexander (Play-by-Play)

Devin Gardner (Analyst)

K-State Radio: K-State Sports Network; k-statesports.com (Listen)

            Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play)

            Stan Weber (Analyst)

            Matt Walters (Sidelines)

National Radio: Learfield’s College Football Saturday Night

            Sloane Martin (Play-by-Play)

            Mike Golic Jr. (Analyst)

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ch. 134 or 199, SXM App 953

Twitter Updates: @KStateFB

THE TOP 5
1)
 A week after dropping a 34-27 decision to No. 24 Texas in Manhattan, the Wildcats will head back out on the road for the first of two-straight road November contests, beginning with Baylor on Saturday. The Cats and Baylor – in addition to Texas – sit at 6-3 overall and 4-2 in Big 12 play with three weeks remaining in the regular season. Saturday’s 6 p.m. matchup in Waco will be televised by FS1.

2) K-State is 6-3 this season with all three losses coming against teams that are currently ranked in No. 4 TCU, No. 16 Tulane and No.18 Texas. The Wildcats are bowl eligible for the third time under Chris Klieman and will advance to their 24th bowl appearance in school history, including the 11th in the last 13 seasons. Klieman is the first coach in school history to send three of his first four squads to the postseason.

3) Last time out, K-State battled back from a 31-10 halftime deficit against Texas and had the ball with less than two minutes to go with a chance to tie the game. Adrian Martinez returned at quarterback and threw for 326 yards and two scores, while the Wildcat defense rebounded in the second half, holding Texas to 115 total yards and just three points in the final 30 minutes.

4) Deuce Vaughn has 975 rushing yards this season and is closing in on his second-straight season with 1,000 rushing yards as he would become just the third player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons. Last week, he moved into second place in school history in career rushing yards (3,021) and also is currently in a tie for fifth in career rushing TDs (30).

5) The Cats have been solid on defense, allowing just 19.1 points per game and 367.2 total yards per game. This week, the Cats rank seventh nationally in turnover margin, 14th in fourth down defense, 15th in interceptions, 18th in scoring defense and 25th in pass defense. The Cats have kept each of their Big 12 opponents this year under their season scoring average entering its game against K-State.

STATISTICAL SPOTLIGHTS
83
 – K-State is outscoring opponents, 174-91, in first halves as its 83-point margin in the first half is the highest in the Big 12.

20.2 – Points per game allowed by K-State since its switch to the 3-3-5 alignment prior to the 2021 season (22 games).

11 – Number of interceptions recorded by the Wildcat defense, which is second in the Big 12 and 15th nationally.

3 – All three of K-State’s losses this season have been against teams ranked this week and all were by 10 points or less.

2 – Deuce Vaughn now ranks second in school history in career rushing yards with 3,021.

TEAM NOTES
A WINNING TRADITION

  • Kansas State has been one of the best Big 12 teams since the inception of the conference in 1996. The Wildcats are third with 130 victories, trailing only Oklahoma and Texas.
  • The Wildcats are also tied for third in the conference in winning percentage since round-robin play began in 2011. They sit at 58.1% (61-44), trailing only Oklahoma (78.8%; 82-22) and Oklahoma State (65.7%; 69-36).
  • During that stretch, the Wildcats are 34-19 (64.2%) at home in Big 12 play and 27-25 (51.9%) on the road.


GOING BOWLING

  • K-State earned its 24th bowl appearance in school history, including its 11th in the last 13 years, with its sixth win.
  • Entering the season, Kansas State was one of just 25 Power 5 programs to play in a bowl game 10 times in the previous 12 seasons.
  • Chris Klieman is the first coach in school history to lead three of his first four Wildcat teams to bowl appearances.

TAKING DOWN TOP-10s

  • Kansas State earned its second victory over an Associated Press Top-10 team this season when it shut out Oklahoma State, 48-0. It is the first time in school history the Wildcats have taken down multiple AP Top-10 teams in one season.
  • The Wildcats are now 5-3 in their last nine games against top-10 teams dating back to Nov. 18, 2017, a span that began with a 45-40 victory at No. 10 Oklahoma State.
  • Prior to that, the Cats were just 1-15 in their previous 16 tries.

STARTING 4-1 IN BIG 12 PLAY

  • K-State started 4-1 in Big 12 play for the third time in head coach Chris Klieman’s four seasons in Manhattan and for the 10th time in the 27-year history of the conference.
  • Of the nine other times K-State has started 4-1 in Big 12 action, the Wildcats hit the seven-win mark six times.


AMONG THE NATION’S BEST

  • K-State has 209 wins since 1996, which is tied for 23rd among all FBS teams. The Wildcats are one of just 31 schools to reach the 200-win mark over the last 26 years.
  • More recently, the Wildcats are tied for 21st in wins among current Power 5 teams since 2010 with 99.

A WINNING HISTORY

  • A proven winner with a championship history, Chris Klieman holds a 98-32 career record, as his 75.4% career winning percentage ranks fourth among current FBS coaches that are in at least their 10th season.
  • Klieman, who is 26-19 since arriving at K-State, came to Manhattan after capping his five-year stint as head coach at North Dakota State by winning his fourth national championship in 2018. He guided the 2018 Bison to a perfect 15-0 record.
  • Klieman is 6-6 in his career against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 with five of the victories coming at K-State.

TAKING CARE OF THE BALL

  • Another staple of K-State football over the past decade has been committing very few turnovers, as the Wildcats are tied for second in the nation in fewest turnovers since 2012 (161).
  • That figure leads the Big 12 as the Wildcats are 17 better than the next closest program (Oklahoma, 178).
  • The Wildcats enter this week ranked seventh nationally and tops in the Big 12 in turnover margin (+1.00 per game). They are plus-9 on the year with 16 takeaways and seven turnovers.
  • K-State has not finished in the top 10 nationally in turnover margin since 2016 when it finished fourth (+1.00 per game). The current turnover margin would be K-State’s best since it finished at +1.46 per game in 2012 to rank third nationally.

TOP-NOTCH DISCIPLINE

  • K-State has been one of the most disciplined teams in the Big 12 as it ranks third in the league with 46 penalty yards per game.
  • The Wildcats have been under 40 penalty yards in five contests and under 30 yards twice (23 vs. Tulane; 25 at Iowa State).

CATS TOPS IN NON-OFFENSIVE TDs

  • K-State is the nation’s best in non-offensive touchdowns over the last 23 seasons as it has 128 since 1999, six more than the next closest team (Alabama – 122).
  • Kansas State has two non-offensive scores this year as Seth Porter blocked a punt against South Dakota that was returned for a score by Desmond Purnell, while Phillip Brooks took a punt 76 yards for a score against Missouri.

OFFENSIVE NOTES
KLEIN IS ONE OF FOUR

  • A 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist and one of the best signal callers in school history, Collin Klein is in his first season as K-State’s offensive coordinator.
  • Klein is one of just four Power 5 offensive coordinators to play quarterback at the school in which they work. The other three are Brandon Streeter (Clemson), Tommy Rees (Notre Dame) and Tavita Pritchard (Stanford).

TOTAL OFFENSE
• K-State has put together six high offensive outputs to start Big 12 play, going at least 375 yards in every conference game, including 450 yards on four occasions.

  • It marks the first time ever the Wildcats have started Big 12 play (since 1996) with six-straight games of 375 total yards.
  • Overall, the Wildcats have averaged 419.2 yards of offense in their nine games this year, which currently ranks fifth in school history. Their 6.3 yards per play ranks third.
  • K-State has averaged 6.8 yards per play in Big 12 games, which ranks second in the league behind TCU (7.0).

    QUICK STARTS & QUICK STRIKES
    • The K-State offense has been getting out to quick starts as the Wildcats are outscoring opponents, 174-91, in first halves this season to hold a Big 12-best 83-point margin in the first 30 minutes.

  • Included in that are some of the fastest scores in school history. Malik Knowles scored on the first offensive play of the year – a 75-yard end around against South Dakota – just 10 seconds into the game, which was the fastest score in a game in school history. The other was an 18-yard run by Adrian Martinez just 40 seconds into the Texas Tech game, the 10th-fastest score in school history.
  • Going somewhat against the norm of how K-State has traditionally operated, the Wildcats have 13 touchdown drives of five plays or less, while 15 have lasted three minutes or less.

    EFFICIENCY ON THE GROUND…
    • The Cats enter this week ranked 15th nationally and eighth among Power 5 teams with 218.1 rushing yards per game.

  • K-State’s current 5.48 yards per carry ranks 14th nationally and is the top mark in school history.
  • The Wildcats had a season-high 343 rushing yards against Texas Tech, their most in a Big 12 game since posting 345 yards against Oklahoma State in 2016.

    …AND THROUGH THE AIR
    • Although the Cats do not air it out as much as their Big 12 brethren, they are efficient and have some explosive plays.

  • K-State’s current 62.8% completion percentage ranks seventh in school history, while the Wildcats have thrown only four interceptions this season. K-State’s current 1.26% interception clip is the lowest in school history.
  • The Wildcats have three pass plays that have gone for 60 or more yards – including an 81-yard touchdown at Iowa State – to tie for seventh nationally, while they are one of just 16 teams to have a pass of at least 80 yards this season.
  • The 81-yarder from Adrian Martinez to Phillip Brooks against the Cyclones was the only touchdown by either team in the game. It is tied for the 10th-longest pass play in the nation this year and was the 10th-longest pass play in school history.

    VAUGHN BACK AT IT
    • Running back Deuce Vaughn ranks 16th nationally and third in the Big 12 with 108.3 rushing yards per game.

  • Vaughn also ranks 11th nationally and second in the Big 12 in scrimmage yards (rushing plus receiving) per game at 132.2.
  • A threat virtually every time he touches the ball, Vaughn has gone for at least 10 yards on 125 of his 635 career scrimmage touches (19.7%) and at least 20 yards 46 times (7.2%).

    CLOSE TO 1,000 AGAIN
    • Deuce Vaughn is closing in on his second straight 1,000-yard campaign as he enters this week’s game with 975 yards. He would become just the second player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons, joining Darren Sproles (2002, 2003, 2004) and Daniel Thomas (2009, 2010).

    ALL-PURPOSE BACK
    • The high marks by Deuce Vaughn are not only due to his prowess as a runner, but he has been one of the best backs in the nation on the receiving end.

  • Over his 32-game career, Vaughn has 3,021 rushing yards and 1,118 receiving yards, making him the fastest player in Big 12 history to go over 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a career. He is tied for the fastest to get there by any player in the country dating back to 1996.

    GOING 70
    • Deuce Vaughn has four career games in which he has totaled at least 70 rushing yards and 70 receiving yards, including last week against Texas (73 rush/86 receive).

  • In the Big 12 era, only Vaughn and Darren Sproles have tallied such games for the Wildcats as Sproles did it on three occasions.
  • Besides the Texas games, Vaughn’s other 70/70 games have come against Kansas (2020 and 2021) and Texas Tech (2020).

    ADRIAN CLOSE TO HISTORY
    • Quarterback Adrian Martinez is close to becoming the second player in FBS history with 10,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards in a career.

  • Entering this week’s game, Martinez has thrown for 9,727 yards and rushed for 2,918 yards.
  • The only other player to hit the 10,000/3,000 mark was Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, who threw for 10,098 yards and rushed for 4,112 yards from 2007 to 2010.

    WILL THE THRILL
    • Quarterback Will Howard made his first start of the season a historic one in K-State’s 48-0 win over No. 9 Oklahoma State as he tied a school record with four touchdown passes while also setting a career high with 296 passing yards.

  • It was the first time a Wildcat had four passing touchdowns in a game since Jesse Ertz in the 2017 season opener against Central Arkansas, while it was the first against a Big 12 opponent since Jake Waters against Kansas in 2014.
  • Each of his passing touchdowns came in the first half, marking the third time in school history a player had four in a half. The other two were Michael Bishop in 1997 against Northern Illinois and Paul Watson in 1988 against Louisiana Tech.
  • For his effort against the Cowboys, Howard was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. Adrian Martinez earned the same honor following the Oklahoma game as K-State is the first team with two quarterbacks to earn Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week accolades in the same season since 2014 when Baylor’s Seth Russell and Bryce Petty each won the honor.

A MIX OF OLD AND NEW
• The blueprint for success has been established for the offensive line under coach Conor Riley since he came to Manhattan with Chris Klieman in 2019, which has made for a smooth transition for three new starters in 2022.

  • K-State’s offensive line has combined for 92 career starts, including 30 from both right tackle Christian Duffie and left guard Cooper Beebe. Additionally, senior left tackle KT Leveston has started 14 career games.
  • Beebe was a 2021 First Team All-Big 12 performer who is a Preseason All-American. Duffie has started 29-consecutive games for the Wildcats, the most on the team.
  • Although new starters this season, senior Hayden Gillum and sophomore Hadley Panzer have started to find their rhythm at center and right guard, respectively.

DEFENSIVE NOTES
A BIG TURNAROUND
• The K-State defense switched from a four-man front to a 3-3-5 alignment in 2021, and the change has paid off.

  • In the 22 games since the defensive switch, the Cats are allowing just 20.2 points per game, which ranks 18th nationally and second in the Big 12. Additionally, they are allowing only 354.0 yards per game over that time, which ranks third in the league.
  • Over the 2019 and 2020 seasons, K-State allowed 26.1 points per game and 401.6 yards.

HISTORIC PERFORMANCE
• Kansas State shut out No. 9 Oklahoma State, as the Wildcats’ 48-0 victory was the largest ever shutout win by a lower-ranked team against an AP Top-10 team.

  • It tied for the fifth-largest shutout win ever over an AP Top-10 team and the largest since No. 10 USC was shut out 51-0 by No. 1 Notre Dame in 1966. It was also the first time the Wildcats ever shut out an AP Top-10 team.
  • The shutout was the Wildcats’ second of the season (South Dakota) and the first against a Big 12 opponent since blanking Texas, 23-0, in 2014. It is the first time K-State has had multiple shutouts in a season since 2002 (vs. KU and Louisiana-Monroe).

SHUT ’EM OUT
• Kansas State is one of three teams that have two shutouts this season, joining Georgia (vs. Samford and Vanderbilt) and Minnesota (vs. Rutgers and New Mexico State).

  • Of the 15 shutouts by FBS teams against other FBS opponents this season, the Wildcats did theirs against the highest scoring team as Oklahoma State was averaging 44.7 points per game entering the contest.
  • The next biggest shutout on the list was Texas’ 49-0 win over an Oklahoma team that was averaging 37.0 points per game entering the contest.

UNDER AVERAGE
• K-State has held all of its opponents this year under their season averages coming into the game (excluding the opener).

  • Since head coach Chris Klieman’s first year of 2019, the Wildcats have held 26 of their 33 Big 12 opponents under its season average at the time it faces the Wildcats.

PICK ME, PICK ME
• K-State has recorded 11 interceptions to rank 15th in the nation and second in the Big 12. They have multiple INTs in four games this year, carding four vs. Missouri and two apiece against Tulane, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

  • Five of the 11 interceptions have come from linebackers, the most from that position group for a season since 1998 when Jeff Kelly (3) and Mark Simoneau (2) combined for five.
  • K-State’s four interceptions against Missouri came on four-straight possessions. It was the first time they accomplished that feat since the 2010 Texas game.

THIRD DOWN DEFENSE
• A year after ranking 78th nationally and sixth in the Big 12 by allowing a 39.9% conversion rate on third down, K-State enters this week’s game ranked 29th in the country and fourth in the conference with a 33.3% rate.

  • The Wildcats have allowed their opponents to convert on third down under 50% of the time in seven of nine games this season, including an 8.3% clip against Tulane.

PLAYING BEHIND THE LINE
• K-State enters play this week ranked fourth in the Big 12 with 56 tackles for loss (6.2 per game).

  • The Cats have recorded three games with 10 or more TFLs for the first time since the 2012 season as they had 10 against each South Dakota, Missouri and Texas Tech.
  • The team leader in that department is Felix Anudike-Uzomah with 9.0 TFLs. Linebacker Austin Moore is right behind him with 7.0 TFLs.

SACK PARTY

  • The Cats have totaled 23 sacks this season, as their 2.56 sacks per game rank 32nd in the nation.
  • Against Texas Tech, Felix Anudike-Uzomah and Khalid Duke each carded 3.0 sacks, the first time in school history the Wildcats had two players with 3.0 sacks in the same game.
  • It was the first time nationally that two players had at least 3.0 sacks in the same game since 2019 (Oregon State).

KING FELIX
• After making a name for himself in 2021, junior defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah has kept things going in 2022.

  • A semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, Anudike-Uzomah has 7.5 sacks this season to rank 12th in the nation, while he has a pair of forced fumbles to tie for second in the Big 12.
  • A product of Kansas City, Missouri, Anudike-Uzomah has 19.5 career sacks to rank 10th in school history. His eight career forced fumbles are one shy of the school record currently held by three others.
  • The production by Anudike-Uzomah has him ranked 23rd on the Pro Football Focus 2023 NFL Draft Big Board, which is impressive considering he came to K-State in 2020 ranked as the 114th-best weakside defensive end and 2,421st overall player in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, while he was unranked by Rivals.

OLD FACE, NEW PLACE
• Safety Josh Hayes is in his sixth year of college football and third school after transferring in the spring from Virginia.

  • However, Hayes, a product of Lakeland, Florida, is reuniting with head coach Chris Klieman and defensive coordinator/safeties coach Joe Klanderman in Manhattan after the trio were together at North Dakota State. Hayes played as a true freshman and sophomore in 2017 and 2018 under Klieman before he became the K-State head coach for the 2019 season.
  • Hayes saw time in all 15 games in 2017, including his first-career start in NDSU’s national championship win over James Madison.
  • He went on to play 37 more games with 24 more starts for the Bison before transferring to Virginia for the 2021 season, playing in three games before utilizing his redshirt and transferring to K-State.
  • Hayes has played in 63 career games, which ranks third in the nation among active players and tops among all Big 12 players.
  • Hayes earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors following the Iowa State game in which he had a team-high and career-best 11 tackles – including one for a loss – and a pass breakup.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
SCORING IN THE THIRD PHASE
• One of the main reasons the Wildcats have been a successful program the last three decades is a knack for momentum-swinging plays in the return game.

  • Since 2005 (17-plus seasons), the Wildcats have a combined 60 kickoff- and punt-return touchdowns, 21 more than second-place Alabama (39) and 26 more than the next closest Big 12 team (Oklahoma State – 34).
  • Of the 60 total returns, a nation-leading 31 are on kickoff returns. The next closest team is San Diego State with 19.
  • With the Wildcats’ two punt-return touchdowns this season, K-State has now tallied a punt-return score in every season since 2014, as the nine-year stretch is the longest in school history.

DEFENSE ON KICKOFF RETURNS
• Kansas State has not allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown since the 2013 season, going the last 372 returns without allowing opponents to find paydirt on a kickoff return.

  • The streak is the longest in the Big 12, 40 more than the next closest team (TCU – 332).
  • Since K-State allowed its last kickoff-return touchdown, the Wildcats have scored 14 of their own.

BROOKS BACK IN THE END ZONE
• Phillip Brooks recorded his fourth career punt-return touchdown against Missouri, a 76-yarder en route to Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

  • His 76-yard return is the 12th longest in the nation this year.
  • He leads the nation among active players in career punt-return average (16.7), while he is second in touchdowns and fifth in total punt-return yards (618).
  • His four punt-return touchdowns rank second in school history and are tied for sixth in Big 12 history.

KNOWLES WITH A KNACK
• Malik Knowles is the latest Wildcat with a knack for kickoff returns as he was a 2021 Second Team All-American and a 2022 Preseason All-American.

  • Knowles was the 2021 First Team All-Big 12 kick returner, marking the 15th time in the 26-year history of the Big 12 that K-State had a First Team All-Big 12 returner. The next closest team is former Big 12 member Colorado with four.
  • Knowles is tied for fourth in school history in career kickoff return touchdowns thanks to scores last year in back-to-back weeks at Oklahoma State and against Oklahoma in addition to one at Mississippi State in 2019.
  • A product of Mansfield, Texas, Knowles is tied for second nationally among active players with three career kickoff-return scores.
  • Knowles currently ranks seventh in school history in career kickoff-return average and seventh nationally among active players.

ZENTNER’S THREE PHASES
• Punter/kickoff man Ty Zentner is taking advantage of a second senior season in 2022, and he has added field goal kicking to his game.

  • Over the last two games, Zentner has handled all three kicking duties, connecting on a combined four field goals and all nine extra-point attempts. The extra duty hasn’t hurt his punting ability as he has averaged 44.9 yards and had three land inside the 20-yard line over those two contests.
  • Following in first game working all three disciplines – which was K-State’s win over No. 9 Oklahoma State – Zentner was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week.
  • A product of Topeka, Kansas, Zentner ranks fourth in the Big 12 and ninth in school history with a 43.4-yard average this season. Additionally, he is fourth in K-State history in career average (42.78).
  • Those averages are held up by six career games with an average of at least 45.0, including a 54.2-yard average against Missouri, which ranked as the second-highest punting average game in school history (minimum 4 attempts).
  • His contest against the Tigers featured a career-long punt of 66 yards.
  • On kickoffs, Zentner has totaled 113 touchbacks on 189 career kickoffs (59.8%) since 2020.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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