Non-conference opponents have come and been beaten, now is the time for conference play to begin. The Cowboy’s first Big 12 matchup will be Chris Klieman’s Wildcats.
Although both teams are 3-0, they have entirely different strengths that brought them to this point.
Backup Shows Out
Skylar Thompson has been deemed out indefinitely due to a knee injury, so Kansas-State’s backup Quarterback Will Howard has been called to lead. Howard proved he was more than prepared to step up for the Wildcats, throwing 173 yards and completed seven of ten passes. On top of that, he rushed for 56 yards and two touchdowns.
Tiny But Mighty
Standing at just 5’5” he might not look like a bouldering running back, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed. Deuce Vaughn has become Kansas State’s biggest offensive threat in the run game. Against Nevada, Vaughn led the team with 127 yards rushing and scored a touchdown for the Wildcats. In just 13 games for Kansas State, he has reached 1,000 yards rushing. Oklahoma State will need to push out all the stops to hinder these speedy legs from reaching the end zone.
This defense is certainly not one to mess with; Kansas State only allowed their opponents to average 15.6 points per game. In their win versus Nevada, Tee Denson caught an interception, the only turnover in the game. Facing a defense that remains strong and takes advantage of turnover opportunities means this Oklahoma State offense has their work cut out for them.
Even though Howard established his strength by throwing a 68-yard touchdown pass, Kansas State relied more heavily on the run game. The Wildcats only opted to throw the football on 13 attempts and ran the ball 48 times, with a running back as talented as Vaughn it makes sense. But If the Cowboys can put more pressure on the offensive line and get to Howard, Oklahoma State could finish the game on Saturday with another win.