By Ryan Lackey
Associate athletics director for Communications
THE TOP 5
1) Following a 48-31 road win at West Virginia, Kansas State returns home to close out the 2022 regular season with the annual Dillons Sunflower Showdown against in-state rival KU. The Wildcats can clinch a berth in the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship with a win against the Jayhawks. The game will be televised nationally on FOX with a 7 p.m. kickoff from Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
2) K-State is 8-3 this season with all three losses coming against teams that are currently ranked in No. 4 TCU, No. 19 Tulane and No 24 Texas. The Cats 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 scored 41 points in a dominant first half against West Virginia – the most first-half points by the Wildcats under Klieman. Will Howard had a big day, throwing for 294 yards (19-of-27) and accounting for three touchdowns, while Malik Knowles eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the third time this season, finishing with six catches and 111 yards and a touchdown.
4) Deuce Vaughn has 1,148 rushing yards this season to record his second-straight season with 1,000 rushing yards – just the third player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons. He ranks second in school history in career rushing yards (3,194) and moved into the top 10 in school history for a season.
5) The Cats have been solid on defense, allowing just 18.7 points per game and 361.8 total yards per game. This week, the Cats rank fourth nationally in turnover margin, 11th in fourth down defense, sixth in interceptions, 15th in scoring defense and 19th in pass efficiency defense. The Cats have kept each of their Big 12 opponents this year under their season scoring average entering its game against K-State while also holding three conference opponents without a touchdown.