K-State football gears up for Big 12 Championship

Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn (22) catches a pass against Baylor safety Christian...
Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn (22) catches a pass against Baylor safety Christian Morgan in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Jerry Larson)(Jerry Larson | AP)
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:57 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State football is getting ready for the biggest game of its season, the Big 12 Championship against 12-0 TCU on Saturday. The 9-3 Wildcats are coming in as underdogs.

“They know they’ve been doubted quite a bit this year,” said head coach Chris Klieman. “Our guys have really risen up, especially when people have doubted them, they’ve risen to the top.”

This Wildcat team says that being considered an underdog is nothing new for them, both as a program, and on personal levels.

“You’re not gonna see a whole bunch of guys that were heavily recruited out of high school on this football team,” said running back Deuce Vaughn. “It’s gonna be a lot of guys that had to claw, scratch and try and get their way into this spot.”

The last time the Cats met undefeated TCU in October, the Horned Frogs came back from an 11-point deficit to shut out K-State in the second half and secure a 38-28 win.

“We have to find ways to finish plays, finish drives, get off the field on defense,” added Coach Klieman. “That’s the biggest thing that I think disappointed us, is we couldn’t get off the field on defense. Thus our offense just never had the ball much in that second half.”

Though there’s been some back and forth between whether it’s Adrian Martinez or Will Howard starting under center since that TCU game in October, Coach Klieman say Will is now the guy.

“Will will be the guy, but we’ve gotta have a package or something for Adrian just because of the unique skill set that he does have.”

Howard says being in the spot to prepare for this game is nothing short of awesome.

“It’s what we’ve wanted and it’s our goal that we’ve had,” said Howard. “Just to be able to make it isn’t enough for us. But it’s cool to be in the position that we are, and to have the opportunity to go achieve our goal.”

Howard, Vaughn, and the rest of the Cats are in agreement, everything has been leading up to this moment.

“The fact that we’ve been working for this for 11 months now, really 12 now that we’re in December,” Vaughn said. “We set out for this goal, to accomplish this goal back in January. All the work, the sweat, the tears, the preparation that’s been put in, all leads up to this week.”

Kickoff at AT&T Stadium is set for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 3.