THE TOP 5
1) K-State welcomes a familiar foe to Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday as long-time Big 8 and Big 12 member Missouri visits Manhattan for an 11 a.m., ESPN2-televised showdown. It is the first time the two teams have squared off since the 2011 season as the Collin Klein-led Wildcats held off the Tigers, 24-17, in Manhattan. A sellout crowd has been announced for Saturday’s game.
2) Coming off a Consensus All-America season, running back Deuce Vaughn picked up right where he left off in the 2022 opener, rushing for 126 yards and a touchdown against South Dakota. It was his seventh-straight game with more than 100 rushing yards, which ranks second in school history to Darren Sproles, who had a 10-game streak spanning over the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
3) A transfer from Nebraska, Adrian Martinez earned the start at quarterback for the Wildcats last week as he became the first signal caller to start a season opener after transferring from a Division I school since Matt Miller (Texas A&M) started the 1994 opener. However, he is the first ever to come straight from one Division I school and start the next year’s season opener as Miller redshirted the 1993 season.
4) With seven returning starters on defense a year ago, the Wildcats returned to form against South Dakota as they pitched a shutout, their first since the 2019 Bowling Green game. It was one of just nine shutouts nationally during the opening weekend of the season and the only one in the Big 12. South Dakota only converted on 5-of-16 third down attempts, while the Coyotes were 0-of-4 on fourth down.
5) Known for its special teams prowess, K-State brings back both of its primary returners in Malik Knowles (kickoffs) and Phillip Brooks (punts), each of whom have garnered All-America status in their disciplines during their careers. However, it was a blocked punt by Seth Porter and a 17-yard return for a score by Desmond Purnell that got the Wildcats their first special teams touchdown of the season.
297 – Rushing yards in last week’s season opener, the most in a game by the Wildcats since the 2019 KU game (342).
19.5 – Points allowed per game since last season and after the switch to a 3-3-5 defensive alignment.
8 – Consecutive games with a rushing TD by Deuce Vaughn, the longest streak by a Wildcat since Collin Klein in 2012 (12).
7 – Consecutive 100-yard rushing games by Deuce Vaughn, the second-longest streak in school history (Darren Sproles, 10).
0 – Points given up in last week’s season opener, the lone shutout in the Big 12 and one of only nine in the nation.
• Since 1990, K-State holds a 93-18 (83.8%) record in regular-season non-conference games.
• That stretch includes a 79-8 (90.9%) mark at home. During those 30 years (excluding the one-game non-conference schedule in 2020), the Wildcats have had perfect regular season non-conference ledgers 17 times and unblemished marks at home on 24 occasions, which included last season.
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 127 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 57.6% (57-42), trailing only Oklahoma (81.6%; 80-18) and Oklahoma State (66.7%; 66-33).
• During that stretch, the Wildcats are 32-18 (64.0%) at home in Big 12 play and 25-24 (51.0%) on the road.