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K-State Set for Clash of Big 12 Unbeatens

K-State Athletics ReleaseOctober 17, 2022

Game 7
17/17 K-State at 8/8 TCU

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2022

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Stadium: Amon G. Carter Stadium (46,000)

Series: K-State leads, 8-7

TV: FS1 (watch)

Tim Brando (Play-by-Play)

Spencer Tillman (Analyst)

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

            Wyatt Thompson (Play-by-Play)

            Stan Weber (Analyst)

            Matt Walters (Sidelines)

SiriusXM Satellite Radio Ch. 84, SXM App 84

Twitter Updates: @KStateFB

THE TOP 5
1)
 Coming off its lone bye week of the year and sitting with a perfect 3-0 record in Big 12 play, 17th-ranked K-State is prepped for a top-20 showdown at TCU this Saturday. The Wildcats and eighth-ranked Horned Frogs are the only two 3-0 teams in Big 12 play this season after TCU earned a hard-fought 43-40 double-overtime victory at home last week against previously unbeaten Oklahoma State.

2) K-State is 5-1 through six games this year, the second time under Chris Klieman that K-State is 5-1 at the turn and the seventh time since college football implemented a 12-game schedule in 2006. The Cats are 3-0 to begin conference play for a second time under Klieman and a seventh time since the Big 12 began in 1996. K-State’s lone loss this season was a seven-point defeat to Tulane, which 5-1 and ranked 25th.

3) Last time out, K-State earned a 10-9 victory at Iowa State. The nine points were the fewest allowed by the Wildcats since last year’s season opener against Stanford (7), the fewest in a Big 12 game since 2018 (6 vs. Texas Tech) and the fewest in a Big 12 road game since 2016 (6 at TCU). Additionally, the 10 points scored were the fewest in a conference road win since a 9-3 victory at Iowa State in 1982.

4) The duo of quarterback Adrian Martinez and running back Deuce Vaughn have been tough against opposing defenses as they are the only QB/RB duo to each hold more than 500 rushing yards this season. Vaughn has 661 yards and three touchdowns, while Martinez has 546 yards and nine touchdowns. Martinez has rushed for at least 50 yards in each of the last five games.

5) The Cats have been stellar on defense, allowing just 16.7 points per game and 354.5 total yards per game while also forcing nine interceptions. This week, the Cats rank fourth nationally in turnover margin, 12th in third down defense, 14th in scoring defense and in interceptions, 15th in pass efficiency defense, 18th in fourth down defense and 20th in tackles for loss.

STATISTICAL SPOTLIGHTS
244.5
 – Rushing yards per game this season, which ranks seventh in the nation and second among Power 5 teams (Ole Miss).

19.6 – Points per game allowed by K-State since its switch to the 3-3-5 alignment prior to the 2021 season (19 games).

11 – Offensive yards allowed by K-State in the fourth quarter at Iowa State en route to the one-point win.

5 – Victories by K-State in its first six games, the second time in Chris Klieman’s four seasons the Cats won five of their first six.

2 – 100-yard receivers at Iowa State, the first by the Wildcats in a Big 12 game since 2014 against Kansas.

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 129 victories, trailing only Oklahoma and Texas.
  • The Wildcats also rank third in the conference in winning percentage since round-robin play began in 2011. They sit at 58.8% (60-42), trailing only Oklahoma (79.4%; 81-21) and Oklahoma State (67.7%; 68-34).
  • During that stretch, the Wildcats are 33-18 (64.7%) at home in Big 12 play and 27-24 (52.9%) on the road.


STARTING 3-0 IN BIG 12 PLAY

  • K-State is 3-0 in Big 12 play for the second time in head coach Chris Klieman’s four seasons in Manhattan.
  • It is also the seventh time overall the Wildcats have been perfect in their first three games since the Big 12 began in 1996.
  • Of the seven times K-State has started 3-0 in Big 12 action, five – including this year – have included two road games.


INSIDE THE 3-0 BIG 12 START

  • The Wildcats have won in different ways during their 3-0 start to Big 12 play.
  • K-State earned a 41-34 win at then-No. 6 Oklahoma, which was its 11th all-time victory against an Associated Press top-10 team and the fifth in a road game.
  • Against the Sooners, the Wildcats racked up 509 yards and held a 41-27 lead with less than two minutes remaining.
  • K-State then won a 37-28 contest against Texas Tech as it scored 17 fourth-quarter points after the game was tied 20-20 entering the final frame.
  • Then, at Iowa State, the Wildcat defense rose to the occasion by holding Iowa State to 276 yards and just three field goals in a 10-9 win. The nine points allowed were the fewest in a Big 12 road game since 2016 (6 at TCU), while the 10 points scored in were the fewest in a conference road victory since 1982 (9 at Iowa State).


AMONG THE NATION’S BEST

  • K-State has 208 wins since 1996, which is tied for 24th among all FBS teams. The Wildcats are one of just 30 schools to reach the 200-win mark over the last 26 years.
  • More recently, the Wildcats are 21st in wins among current Power 5 teams since 2010 with 98.

A WINNING HISTORY

  • A proven winner with a championship history, Chris Klieman holds a 97-30 career record, as his 76.4% career winning percentage ranks fourth among current FBS coaches that are in at least their 10th season.
  • Klieman, who is 25-17 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 5-5 in his career against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 with four of the victories coming at K-State.

TOP-NOTCH DISCIPLINE

  • K-State has been one of the most disciplined teams in the nation as it ranks 12th in the country and tops in the Big 12 with just 39.0 penalty yards per game.
  • The Wildcats have been under 40 penalty yards in four contests and under 30 yards twice (23 vs. Tulane; 25 at Iowa 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 rank third nationally among current Power 5 teams since 2012 in fewest turnovers per game at 1.19.
  • That figure leads the Big 12 as the Wildcats’ 157 total turnovers over the last 11-plus seasons are 17 better than the next closest program (Oklahoma, 174).
  • The Wildcats enter this week ranked fourth nationally and tops in the Big 12 in turnover margin (+1.33 per game). They are plus-8 on the year with 11 takeaways and three lost fumbles.
  • K-State has not finished in the top 10 nationally in turnover margin since 2016 when it finished fourth (+1.00 per game).

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 TAKES OVER AS OC

  • 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 three high offensive outputs to start Big 12 play, going for 509 yards at Oklahoma, 459 yards against Texas Tech and 388 yards against a stout Iowa State defense.

  • K-State enters this week ranked fifth in the Big 12 in conference-only games with 452.0 yards of total offense.
  • It is the first time K-State has started league play with three games of at least 375 yards of offense since 2014. The Wildcats have never started Big 12 play (since 1996) with four-straight games of 375 total yards.
  • Overall, the Wildcats have averaged 403.3 yards of offense in their six games this year, which currently ranks seventh in school history. Their 6.07 yards per play ranks ninth.

    QUICK STARTS & QUICK STRIKES
    • The K-State offense has been getting out to quick starts this season, as the Wildcats have scored 61 first-quarter points to rank fourth in the Big 12. Additionally, the Wildcats’ plus-41 scoring margin in the first quarter ranks third in the league.

  • Fourteen of those points have resulted in 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 seven touchdown drives of five plays or less, while eight have lasted three minutes or less.

    EFFICIENCY ON THE GROUND…
    • The Cats enter this week ranked seventh nationally and second among Power 5 teams with 244.5 rushing yards per game.

  • K-State’s current average per game ranks third in school history, while its 5.73 yards per carry ranks ninth nationally and is currently 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 to boot.

  • K-State’s current 63.63% completion percentage ranks sixth in school history, while the Wildcats are the only team in the nation to have not thrown an interception this year.
  • The Wildcats have a pair of pass plays that have gone for 60 or more yards – a 68-yarder and an 81-yarder against Iowa State – to tie for 17th nationally, while they are one of just 12 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 ninth-longest pass play in the nation this year and was the 10th-longest pass play in school history.

    DYNAMIC DUO
    • A majority of K-State’s rushing yards come from Deuce Vaughn, who ranks 12th nationally and second in the Big 12 with 110.2 rushing yards per game, and Adrian Martinez, who ranks second in the nation among quarterbacks and fifth overall in the Big 12 (tops among Big 12 QBs) with 91.0 rushing yards per game.

  • Martinez and Vaughn enter the week as the only quarterback/running back rushing duo in the nation to each go over 500 yards, while they are second by combining for 1,207 yards.
  • Vaughn and Martinez each had 100-yard rushing games at Oklahoma and against Texas Tech. It marked the first time in school history the Wildcats had double 100-yard games in consecutive games.

    A BALANCED ATTACK AT QB
    • Quarterback Adrian Martinez, one of the top transfer signal callers in the 2022 cycle, has had his three best games as a Wildcat since Big 12 play began as he leads the Big 12 in rushing during conference-only games (132.0 yards per game) and ranks second in total offense (330.7 yards per game).

  • Martinez has been over 300 yards twice, including a 382-yard effort in K-State’s win at then-No. 6 Oklahoma. Then, at Iowa State, he produced a season-high 246 passing yards.
  • Martinez put together 319 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground over the Oklahoma and Texas Tech games, becoming just the third Power 5 quarterback in the last 15 years to go over 300 yards and seven scores on the ground in a two-game stretch. The other two were Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Auburn’s Cam Newton. Jackson totaled 345 yards and eight touchdowns against Syracuse and Florida State in 2016, while Newton had 386 yards and seven scores against Kentucky and Arkansas in 2010.

MIX OF NEW AND OLD
• 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 is making for a smooth transition for three new starters in 2022.

  • K-State’s offensive line has combined for 75 career starts, including 27 from both right tackle Christian Duffie and left guard Cooper Beebe. Additionally, senior left tackle KT Leveston has started 11 career games.
  • Beebe was a 2021 First Team All-Big 12 performer who is a Preseason All-American. He currently ranks 35th in Pro Football Focus’ 2023 NFL Draft Big Board.  Duffie has started 27-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.

VAUGHN BACK AT IT
• Running back Deuce Vaughn is looking to duplicate the Consensus All-America season he put together in 2021, and he’s off to a great start as he ranks 12th nationally and second in the Big 12 with 110.2 rushing yards per game.

  • Vaughn also ranks 17th nationally and second in the Big 12 in scrimmage yards (rushing plus receiving) per game at 122.5.
  • Vaughn has 16 career games with 100 rushing yards with 15 of those coming within his last 21 contests.
  • A threat virtually every time he touches the ball, Vaughn has gone for at least 10 yards on 111 of his 567 career scrimmage touches (19.6%) and at least 20 yards 41 times (7.2%).

ALL-PURPOSE BACK
• The high career 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 29-game career, Vaughn has 2,707 rushing yards and 976 receiving yards. With 24 more receiving yards, he will be just the 61st FBS player overall since 1996 to reach the 2,000/1,000 mark – and one of the fastest over that span to get to that mark – while he would be just the 10th from the Big 12.
  • Additionally, he would be just the second Big 12 player to hit those marks prior to the end of his junior year, joining former Texas Tech running back Taurean Henderson.

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 spades.

  • In the 19 games since the defensive switch, the Wildcats are allowing just 19.6 points per game, which ranks 17th nationally and second in the Big 12. Additionally, they are allowing only 347.9 yards per game.
  • Over the 2019 and 2020 seasons, K-State allowed 26.1 points per game and 401.6 yards.

UNDER 10
• The Wildcats’ latest defensive effort was allowing only nine points and 276 total yards at Iowa State in a one-point victory.

  • It was the fewest points allowed against a Big 12 opponent since the 2018 Texas Tech game (6) and the fewest in a Big 12 road game since the 2016 TCU contest (6).

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

  • Since head coach Chris Klieman’s first year of 2019, the Wildcats have held 23 of their 30 Big 12 opponents under its season average at the time it faces the Wildcats.

PICK ME, PICK ME
• K-State has recorded a Big 12-best nine interceptions – three more than the next closest team – while the Wildcats rank  14th in the nation in total interceptions.

  • The nine picks through the first six games are the most by a K-State defense since 2011 (10).
  • After opening the year with two picks against South Dakota, the Cats recorded four interceptions on four-straight possessions against Missouri. It was the first time they accomplished that feat since the 2010 Texas game.
  • Daniel Green and Kobe Savage each picked off passes against Missouri and Tulane. It was the first time the same two K-State players had interceptions in the same consecutive games since 2014 (Dante Barnett and Randall Evans vs. West Virginia and Kansas).
  • Four of the nine interceptions have come from linebackers, the most from that position group for a season since 2015 (4).

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 12th in the country and second in the conference with a 29.1% rate.

  • The Wildcats have allowed their opponents to convert on third down under 50% of the time in all six games this season, including an 8.3% clip against Tulane.
  • Although K-State allowed Oklahoma to convert on 47.1% of its third downs, all eight conversions came on 3rd and 3 or shorter. The Wildcats shut out OU on its eight attempts of 3rd and 4 or longer. Against Texas Tech, the Wildcats allowed just 2-of-7 third down conversions when the Red Raiders faced 3rd and 6 or shorter.

PLAYING BEHIND THE LINE
• K-State enters play this week ranked 20th nationally and fourth in the Big 12 with 41 tackles for loss (6.8 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 8.0 TFLs to rank third in the Big 12. Linebacker Austin Moore is right behind him with 7.0 TFLs.

SACK PARTY

  • The Cats have totaled 16 sacks this season, as their 1.33 sacks per game rank 27th in the nation and second in the Big 12.
  • 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).
  • Each player tied for the fourth most sacks in a game in school history.

KING FELIX
• After making a name for himself in 2021, junior defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah is starting to rev up in 2022.

  • A Preseason All-American, Anudike-Uzomah has 6.5 sacks this season to lead the nation, while he has a pair of forced fumbles to rank ninth in the country and tops in the Big 12.
  • A product of Kansas City, Missouri, Anudike-Uzomah has 18.5 career sacks to tie for 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 12th 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 60 career games, which ranks fourth 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 367 returns without allowing opponents to find paydirt on a kickoff return.

  • The streak is the longest in the Big 12, 46 more than the next closest team (TCU – 321).
  • Since K-State allowed its last kickoff-return touchdown, the Wildcats have scored 14 of their own.

BACK TO BACK
• Desmond Purnell returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against South Dakota, while Phillip Brooks returned one 76 yards for a score against Missouri.

  • It was the first time the Wildcats had punt-return scores in consecutive games since 2008 against Texas Tech and Texas A&M, while it was the first time they had one in each of the first two games of a season since 1998 against Indiana State and Northern Illinois.

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 eighth longest in the nation this year.
  • He leads the nation among active players in career punt-return scores and punt-return average (16.9), while he is ninth in total punt-return yards (558).
  • His four punt-return touchdowns rank second in school history and are tied for fifth 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 fourth in school history in career kickoff-return average, while he is fourth nationally among active players.

ZENTNER’S BOOTS
• Punter Ty Zentner is taking advantage of a second senior season in 2022 as he returns after earning All-Big 12 status a year ago.

  • A product of Topeka, Kansas, Zentner ranks third in the Big 12 and fourth in school history with a 43.47 average this season. Additionally, he is ninth in K-State history in career average (42.73 yards per punt).
  • Those averages are held up by five 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.
  • Zentner has also been the Wildcats’ primary kickoff man since 2020, totaling 99 touchbacks on 169 career kickoffs (58.6%). He had 36 touchbacks last season, the most by a Wildcat since at least 2004.

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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