Oct 23, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State confident heading into meeting with TCU

Kansas State will oppose TCU on Saturday in Manhattan, Kan., with a renewed positive attitude. The Horned Frogs don’t have that option.

The Wildcats (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) came from 14 points down in the second half to defeat Texas Tech 25-24 last week in Lubbock, Texas. The Wildcats outscored the Red Raiders 15-0 in the second half.

TCU, meanwhile, fell for the fourth time in the past five games after a promising start to the season. The Horned Frogs (3-4, 1-3) lost at home to West Virginia 29-17, getting outscored 16-3 in the final two-plus quarters.

Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said the road win impacted his players.

“We found a way to win a game that for a while didn’t look like we were going to pull it out,” he said. “That’s got to give the guys confidence. The energy is good. It’s always better after a win.”

The Wildcats’ defense was exceptional in the second half, led by Felix Anudike-Uzomah, who dropped running back SaRodorick Thompson for a safety early in the third quarter. That play not only fired up the defense, but it had the same effect on the offense, which responded with two long scoring drives.

Still, Klieman emphasized that last week’s win doesn’t impact this week’s game.

“There are different matchups,” he said. “There’s such parity in this league. You have to be ready to play every week. We look at TCU. We’ve played them tight the last couple of years, but we’ve found a way to come away with victories.”

Each week quarterback Skylar Thompson gets healthier improves the Wildcats’ chances, but Klieman said the team needs to be able to run the ball as well.

“We have to be able to rush the football, even though we didn’t have great success last week,” he said. “We have to find ways to complement us throwing the football.”

TCU coach Gary Patterson was pretty blunt when assessing his team’s struggles.

“Play hard,” he said. “You can’t turn the ball over. You need to manage the game and defensively make stops in order (to win).”

West Virginia outgained the Frogs 487-393 in total yards, including a 229-149 advantage on the ground. That’s something Kansas State will try to take advantage of.

Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan was 16 of 26 for 244 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions against the Mountaineers. The two picks were returned for a combined 75 yards. He will need to keep the turnovers to a minimum against a fired-up Kansas State defense.

The TCU players don’t sound as if they are giving up.

“We need to keep fighting,” wide receiver Taye Barber said. “Everybody takes an L sometimes. You have to keep fighting no matter what to win.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Texas Tech Red Raiders kick returner Kaylon Geiger Sr. (10) returns a kick against Kansas State Wildcats defensive back TJ Smith (7) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State rallies in second half to edge Texas Tech

Deuce Vaughn scored two of his three touchdowns in the second half as Kansas State overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Texas Tech 25-24 on Saturday in Big 12 action in Lubbock, Texas.

Vaughn finished with 120 yards from scrimmage, two rushing touchdowns and the go-ahead receiving TD.

The Wildcats (4-3, 1-3 Big 12) outscored Texas Tech 15-0 in the second half in snapping a three-game losing streak. Skylar Thompson completed 24 of 30 passes for 296 yards and a score.

It didn’t take long for Texas Tech (5-3, 2-3) to get on the scoreboard. Two runs combining for 75 yards put the Red Raiders up 7-0 just 30 seconds into the game. Erik Ezukanma raced 45 yards on a jet sweep for the score.

Malik Knowles fumbled the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered at the Kansas State 23. Six plays later, SaRodorick Thompson punched it in from the 1-yard line on fourth down for a 14-0 Texas Tech lead.

After an exchange of punts, the Wildcats got a 14-play, 78-yard drive that took more than 10 minutes, capped by a 1-yard Vaughn touchdown run to pull within 14-7 early in the second quarter.

Tech then went 75 yards in 10 plays, with SaRodorick Thompson scoring on a 4-yard run.

Each team converted chip-shot field goals before the half.

Kansas State went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, but Ty Zentner’s punt was downed on the 1. Felix Anudike-Uzomah stuffed SaRodorick Thompson for a safety on the next play. On the next possession, Vaughn scored on fourth-and-inches from the 2 to get within 24-19.

K-State appeared to be driving for the go-ahead score but Nick Lenners fumbled after a catch and the Red Raiders recovered. The Wildcats turned over Tech on downs, taking over at their own 34. After a defensive personal foul penalty helped KSU convert a third-and-34, Skylar Thompson hit Vaughn for a 22-yard touchdown pass to give K-State its first lead at 25-24.

Texas Tech couldn’t get much offense going in the second half, and turned the ball over on downs near midfield on its final drive.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs against Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Mike Rose (23) during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State uses balanced attack to defeat Kansas State

Breece Hall had a rushing touchdown in his 18th straight game, leading the Iowa State Cyclones to a 33-20 victory over Kansas State Saturday night in Manhattan, Kan. Hall’s mark is a Big 12 record and the fifth longest streak in FBS since 1996. Hall finished with 197 yards rushing with two touchdowns.

Brock Purdy was 22-of-25 for 208 yards and one touchdown.

The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak in Manhattan for the Cyclones (4-2, 2-1 Big 12). The two teams had split the last four meetings, with each team winning two home games. Prior to that, K-State had won nine straight games in the series and had won 15 of the last 16 games in Manhattan.

Skylar Thompson was 15-of-23 for 206 yards. He had two touchdowns and one interception for the Wildcats (3-3, 0-3 Big 12)

The game started perfectly for the Cyclones. Hall raced almost untouched for a 75-yard touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Hall found a hole in the right side of the line and was off.

Greg Eisworth intercepted Thompson giving the ball back to Iowa State. Andrew Mevis hit a 44-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.

K-State converted a second-and-23 for a first down on its next possession. Thompson found Phillip Brooks for a 40-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 10-7.

After K-State missed a chance to tie the score on a 33-yard field goal by Taiten Winkel, Iowa State responded with a 13-play, 80-yard drive. Hall’s 1-yard run capped the drive. Mevis’ 41-yard field goal as time expired gave the Cyclones a 20-7 halftime lead.

Iowa State started the second half with an 18-play, 93-yard drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock. Purdy hit Sean Shaw in the front corner of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown to close the drive.

Thompson ran it in from 1-yard out early in the fourth quarter, but K-State missed the extra point. Mevis then hit another 41-yard field goal for Iowa State.

Thompson hit Malik Knowles with a 9-yard touchdown with 5:05 left in the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson (7) throws a pass in the third quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State rekindles ‘Farmageddon’ rivalry with visiting Iowa State

Iowa State and Kansas State will renew their “Farmageddon” rivalry Saturday in Manhattan, Kan., with both sides feeling refreshed following a Saturday without a game.

The Cyclones (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) will take on a Kansas State squad that has a renewed optimism after starting quarterback Skylar Thompson surprised everyone by starting the Wildcats’ game against Oklahoma Oct. 2.

K-State coach Chris Klieman said Thompson didn’t show much rust in the Oklahoma game, after missing most of the last three games with a right knee injury, and he used the bye week for some fine-tuning.

“We worked some of those guys who were nicked up, like Skylar, to get some of their timing back,” Klieman said Monday. “We worked some of our younger players, pushing those guys along. We’re going to need some guys who are freshmen or redshirt freshmen that haven’t played yet.

“The guys who have played a bunch of snaps have to get their minds and their bodies fresh too. We gave them a little bit of time off. Overall, our guys are going to come back pretty fresh.”

Klieman had said all week leading up to the Oklahoma game that it was unlikely that Thompson would see action against the Sooners, even though his recovery was progressing well. But as the starting offense trotted onto the field at the beginning of the game, Thompson went with his teammates.

All Thompson did was complete 29 of 41 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-31 loss to the Sooners.

Thompson’s biggest weapon likely will continue to be running back Deuce Vaughn. After being stymied the previous week against Oklahoma State, Vaughn was the team’s leading rusher and receiver, both in receptions and yards, against OU.

Through five games, he’s averaging just under 90 yards rushing per game. He’s first in receptions and second in yards per game receiving.

The Wildcats (3-2, 0-2) should get tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe back. Imatorbhebhe has only four catches this season, but his 68-yard touchdown reception against Nevada was K-State’s longest play of the season.

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell took a slightly different approach to the bye week, though rest was a big part.

“I don’t really think (we’ll see) much different,” he said. “I think our goal going into the bye week was to continue to do what we’ve done during the first five weeks. That’s to just get better each day. I thought we had some really good practices throughout the week.”

The Cyclones’ offense revolves around quarterback Brock Purdy. He’s completing better than 70 percent of his passes for 226.6 yards per game. His favorite receiver, in catches and yards, is Xavier Hutchinson. Running back Breece Hall leads the Cyclones with 110.2 rushing yards per game.

The two teams have split the last four meetings, with each team winning two home games. Prior to that, K-State had won 10 straight games in the series. The Wildcats have won 15 of the last 16 games in Manhattan. That leaves the all-time series at 51-49-4 in favor of Iowa State.

— Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) runs away from Kansas State Wildcats defensive tackle Robert Hentz II (15) during the second quarter of a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Oklahoma fends off Kansas State rally

Spencer Rattler completed 88 percent of his 25 passes as No. 6 Oklahoma defeated Kansas State 37-31. Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) snapped a two-game losing streak to the Wildcats.

The Wildcats (3-2, 0-2) outgained the Sooners 420-392, including 320-261 through the air, but it wasn’t enough.

With word all week that K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson was “doubtful” for Saturday’s game, the crowd erupted when Thompson ran on the field for the first offensive series. Thompson finished the game 29-of-41 for 320 yards and three touchdowns.

Oklahoma came into the game ranked second in FBS in defensive third-down percentage defense. The Wildcats converted 8-of-15 on third down, and 4-of-5 on fourth down. But a fourth-down conversion in the fourth quarter that was overturned by review gave the Sooners a chance to pull away.

But the Wildcats wouldn’t go quietly. A Thompson-to-Landry Weber 6-yard touchdown cut the deficit to 34-24. After a Gabe Brkic field goal gave OU a 37-24 lead, Malik Knowles returned the kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.

K-State started its first possession at its own 27 and marched to the OU 11, converting but Jacardia Wright fumbled. Nik Bonitto recovered it and returned it 70 yards to the KSU 19. Oklahoma got it to the 1, but got pushed back and settled for a 40-yard Brkic field goal.

K-State went 75 yards on 10 plays on the ensuing drive, capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Phillip Brooks on fourth and goal.

The Sooners responded with a Jeremiah Hall 4-yard touchdown run, capping a 12-play, 75-yard drive. Taiten Winkel tied it with a 30-yard field goal with 1:30 left, but Brkic gave OU the lead right before the half with a 27-yarder.

The Sooners took the second-half kickoff and marched 75 yards in nine plays to take a 20-10 lead. Kennedy Brooks ran it in from 2-yards out for the score. Following another touchdown drive by the Sooners, K-State got a 7-yard touchdown from Thompson to Deuce Vaughn to draw within 27-17.

Hall’s second touchdown, with 9:49 left, gave the Sooners a three-score lead.

Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler (7) warms up before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. Oklahoma won 16-13.

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K-State looks to stun No. 6 Oklahoma for third year in row

Kansas State spent one week in the Top 25 rankings, but a loss at Oklahoma State caused the Wildcats to fall right back out.

Now with No. 6 Oklahoma coming to town Saturday, K-State will have a chance to make another positive impression.

The Wildcats (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) certainly won’t be intimidated by the nation’s sixth-ranked team – they have knocked off higher-ranked OU teams in each of the past two seasons.

K-State entered this season with three wins before dropping a 31-20 decision to Oklahoma State on Saturday. Running back Deuce Vaughn entered the OSU game with five straight 100-yard games, but after the Wildcats fell behind by three touchdowns in the first half, Vaughn became a non-factor and managed just 22 yards on 13 carries.

“They said they were going to stop Deuce and make us beat them throwing the ball,” coach Chris Klieman said Tuesday. “When we were down as much as we were, that’s not a good position for us to be in.”

Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0) hasn’t lost this season, but, with one exception, the Sooners haven’t been as dominating as many expected. Three of the four victories have been by a touchdown or less.

In their last game, they did not hold a lead against West Virginia until the game-winning field goal on the final play of a 16-13 Sooners victory.

“It ain’t easy to go down there — backed up on our own 7 and you have to drive down there to win the game,” head coach Lincoln Riley said. “Not only did we do it, but we did a great job of executing and turning it into a 4-minute situation, leaving them no time to win the game. That’s some of our best ball right there at the end.”

Offense has been the trademark of Oklahoma football under Riley. But so far this season, take away the 76 points they hung on Western Carolina, and their 26.3 points per game would rank in the mid-80s in college football.

Quarterback Spencer Rattler is completing 74.1 percent of his passes for just over 250 yards per game, but his stats aren’t gaudy like his three predecessors, two of whom won the Heisman Trophy. He needs a big game to keep his fading Heisman hopes alive.

In his third season at K-State, Klieman hasn’t lost to the Sooners. The Wildcats built a big lead over the fifth-ranked Sooners in 2019 then held on for a 48-41 win in Manhattan. In 2020, OU was ranked third and led 35-14 late in the third quarter in Norman, but the Wildcats scored the last 24 points in the game’s last 17 minutes to claim a 38-35 victory.

“We have to get ready to play a great OU team,” Klieman said. “We’ve got to worry about us. We’re going to play a team that knows that we beat them the last two years. They’re going to be ready to play.”

The Wildcats have been hurt since early in the second game by the loss of their starting quarterback, Skylar Thompson. It looked to be a season-ending injury when Thompson went down in a heap without being touched. There’s a slim chance Thompson could play against Oklahoma, though it’s not likely. Klieman says the final decision would be made late in the week.

Klieman said Will Howard and Jaren Lewis would split quarterbacking duties again. Howard had to leave the OSU game because of an undisclosed injury but is expected to be ready for Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Nevada Wolf Pack defensive back Jordan Lee (13) tries to break away from the block by Kansas State Wildcats tight end Nick Lenners (87) to tackle Wildcats quarterback Will Howard (15) during the first quarter of a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Deuce Vaughn runs for 100 yards again as K-State beat Nevada

Deuce Vaughn had his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game as Kansas State defeated Nevada 38-17 in Manhattan, Kansas.

Vaughn’s 127 yards led KSU’s 269 yards on the ground.

It didn’t take long for K-State (3-0) to get on the board. Will Howard hit Daniel Imatorbhebhe with a 68-yard touchdown down the seam on the second play of the day.

After an exchange of punts, Nevada (2-1) tied the score on a 1-yard touchdown run by Devonte Lee. The touchdown was set up by a 55-yard completion from Carson Strong to Romeo Doubs that put the ball at the K-State 2. It took four plays for the Wolf Pack to punch it in.

K-State responded with a more typical drive, capped by a 22-yard touchdown run by Joe Ervin. The Wildcats went 75 yards in eight plays, five on the ground and three through the air.

The Wildcats extended the lead to 17-7 with 2:08 left in the first half. The 38-yard drive was set up by a Tee Denson interception that was returned to near midfield.

K-State’s defense was the story in the first half. The Wolf Pack came into the game averaging 479.5 yards of total offense per game, had just 142 in the half.

Nevada opened the second half with a field goal to cut the deficit to 17-10. The Wolf Pack was driving deep into K-State territory, but head coach Jay Norvell was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that stalled the drive.

After a three-and-out and a shanked punt, Nevada took over at the K-State 42-yard line. The Wolf Pack used nine plays to tie the score, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Strong to Elijah Cooks.

Vaughn put the Wildcats back up 24-17 on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Cats drove 75 yards in eight plays (six of them runs).

The K-State defense held Nevada on a fourth-and-4, stopping Strong after a gain of three yards. That set up an 11-play drive that was capped by Howard’s 2-yard run. Howard’s 1-yard TD run capped the scoring with 1:12 left.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats fullback Jax Dineen (29) looks for room to run against Southern Illinois Salukis linebacker Bryce Notree (54) during a game at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State earns tough home win over Southern Illinois

Deuce Vaughn rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns as Kansas State defeated Southern Illinois 31-23 Saturday night in Manhattan, Kan. The Wildcats overcame four first-half turnovers.

It might be a costly victory for Kansas State, as sixth-year senior quarterback Skylar Thompson left the game in the first quarter with what was termed a “lower body injury.” He was running to his right in the open field when he went down in a heap. Thompson did not return to the game.

Southern Illinois (1-1) led 23-21 at halftime.

Kansas State (2-0) jumped out first on a 7-yard touchdown run by Vaughn, capping a six-play, 75-yard drive. The big play was a 43-yard pass from Thompson to Malik Knowles.

Thompson hit Knowles with a 50-yard pass to set up another K-State touchdown. But Thompson went down without being touched and left the game. His replacement, Will Howard, punched it in from the 1-yard line to give K-State a 14-0 lead.

SIU got on the board early in the second quarter on a 32-yard field goal by Nico Gualdoni. Vaughn scored from 1-yard out to give K-State a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter. But things turned bad quickly.

Javon Williams scored SIU’s first touchdown from 4 yards out, but the 2-point conversion failed, making the score 21-9. Vaughn then fumbled on the ensuing drive just outside the 25-yard line. It was recovered by Gianini Belizaire and returned to the K-State 9-yard line. Williams then scored from 1 yard out to cut the deficit to 21-16.

Trying to convert a third-and-12, Howard threw it right to defender PJ Jules, who returned it 41 yards for a pick-6 and the lead.

K-State opened the second half with a 14-play drive (12 runs) to retake the lead on a Taiten Winkel 34-yard field goal. Southern Illinois missed a 47-yard field goal with 11:06 left.

Vaughn scored his third touchdown from 4 yards out with 1:57 to ice the victory.

Southern Illinois was driving for a potential game-tying score when Felix Anudike-Uzomah sacked Nic Baker and forced a fumble with 19 seconds left.

Oct 3, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Justin Fuente reacts as his team plays against the Duke Blue Devils in the second half at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Virginia Tech Hokies won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech, Kansas State opt against participating in bowls

Virginia Tech and Kansas State have opted against seeking bowl bids and will end their respective seasons, the schools announced Wednesday.

The Hokies’ decision ends the nation’s longest bowl streak at 27 years. They join fellow Atlantic Coast Conference schools Boston College, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Georgia Tech in declining to participate in bowl games this season.

Virginia Tech (5-6) posted its first regular-season losing campaign since posting a 2-8-1 record in 1992. A .500 record requirement for bowl consideration in the 2020 season was waived due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We had a team meeting and our players have decided to not play, and I’m going to support them 100 percent,” Hokies coach Justin Fuente said on Wednesday. “It speaks to the difficulty of the season they’ve been through. There were players who wanted to play, but we were going to do this all together or not, and it became evident that it was a very difficult situation.

“There’s kids that would like to go home for Christmas. This is ultimately about our kids. I think they’ve sacrificed enough. They’ve been at this for some time and given up freedoms and plenty of opportunities, so we’re going to turn the page and get ready to go.”

The Wildcats’ reasoning for their decision is that they would not have enough players to prepare for a bowl game. Instead, the school announced that it is pausing football activities following its most recent COVID-19 test results and contact tracing.

“This has been an unbelievably challenging year for everyone, but we were very excited to have the opportunity to end the season in a bowl game,” Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor said. “But, with new positive cases and additional close contacts in our program, we would not have enough players to continue practices and field a team for the bowl game. I want to thank our student-athletes and coaches for their tireless effort this year and for being flexible during a time when every day presented new challenges.”

The Wildcats were eligible to compete in a bowl after finishing with a 4-6 overall record and 4-5 mark in Big 12 play.

“It certainly is a bittersweet ending to the season, but playing 10 regular-season games throughout all of this uncertainty was nothing short of a miracle,” Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said. “I want to thank our players, especially our seniors, for continuing to battle each and every day, no matter what circumstance was put before them. This season was difficult and frustrating, but I think it is also one that we will remember for the rest of our lives. I hope we will all learn from it and become better, both as coaches and players, as we head into the offseason.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2020; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) passes the ball as Iowa State Cyclones linebacker O'Rien Vance (34) tries to defend during an NCAA college football game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell-USA TODAY NETWORK

Texas, K-State looking for positives

One team is hanging by a thread. The other team’s thread got cut last weekend. But when Kansas State hosts Texas in Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday, there’s one thing both teams have in common.

There’s still plenty to play for.

Kansas State hopes to stop a four-game losing streak that has taken the Wildcats from a tie for first place in the Big 12 and the No. 16 ranking to a losing record. The Longhorns, meanwhile, hope to have a lot of chips fall into place.

With a heartbreaking loss to Iowa State last weekend, the Longhorns (5-3, 4-3 Big 12) have to win out (they’re at so-far-winless Kansas on Dec. 12), have Oklahoma lose twice and have Oklahoma State lose at least one of its two remaining games in order to play in the Big 12 Championship game.

“They’re a resilient bunch,” Texas coach Tom Herman said of his team’s reaction to the Iowa State loss. “We all know that the season is not over. We have two regular-season games left, and a bowl game, and we’ve got a job to do. That job is to go win a game.”

Senior Sam Ehlinger leads the Longhorns into Manhattan riding a three-game winning streak against the Wildcats. Ehlinger is third in the Big 12 in passing with 266.5 yards per game.

“(Sam) can beat you with his feet, he can beat you with his arm, he can beat you with his mind,” head coach Chris Klieman said. “He can run through arm tackles because he’s a big, physical ball carrier. He throws the ball really well and has a lot of different people he can get the ball to in space. We need to be on point, and be better in limiting explosive plays.”

Kansas State (4-5, 4-4) has been struggling offensively since starting quarterback Skylar Thompson went down against Texas Tech in the third game. Freshman Will Howard helped the Wildcats defeat the Red Raiders, TCU and Kansas. But it seems like anything that can go wrong has gone wrong in their four-game losing streak.

“It wears on you, without question,” Klieman said. “A couple of games were really close, and we felt like we should win those games, but we didn’t. If you’re a competitor and a winner, like all those kids are, it ticks you off.”

Still, Klieman is looking forward to sending his seniors off with a victory if at all possible.

“We get to honor 20 seniors in their last home game,” he said. “Those guys have meant a ton to our staff. They welcomed us with open arms when we were hired here two years ago. It will be an emotional time for those guys.

“I’m proud of the resiliency of these guys. We just have to execute better to have a chance against a really good Texas team.”

–Field Level Media