MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State’s All-American rusher is coming off a stellar performance against South Dakota, and he’s looking forward to carrying that momentum into game two.
It just so happens that Missouri will be invading Bill Snyder Family Stadium Saturday morning, and Deuce Vaughn knows all about the series between the former Big 8 programs. Not to mention the Tigers will be representing the almighty SEC, a league that went 13-1 in non-conference play in week one.
Vaughn is confident his team will be ready for the challenge though. That’s because they’re familiar with the speed and physicality of the SEC. After all, Kansas State handed LSU its’ worst bowl loss in school history this past January. And Vaughn had 134 yards rushing, plus four touchdowns in that game.
Now he’s excited about the opportunity of hosting the Tigers. It’s going to be the 98th battle between two teams that haven’t clashed since 2011. And Vaughn wants the home crowd to be dialed in for the matchup.
“I already heard that it was sold out, and dating back to last week it was 50,000 strong in there, and we felt every single part of that,” Vaughn said. “Knowing that we have that going into this next game, that’s big time.”
The Texas native recorded 126 yards on the ground in last week’s victory. It was the tenth time he went over the century mark in rushing in the Wildcats’ past 14 games. Vaughn was pleased with his performance, as well as the rest of the rushers. He also thought the offensive line blocked well up front.
The former three-star prospect was all about his footwork at the point of attack against the Coyotes too.
“Whenever I made the contact, I was able to run my feet and finish,” he said. “That was one of the things I wanted to work on, because you can always make the contact, but being able to run your feet and finish after watching film was really encouraging.”
Missouri’s defense only allowed eight yards rushing in last week’s blowout win over Louisiana Tech. That’s all the Bulldogs’ offense could manage on 22 carries. Those impressive numbers caught Vaughn’s attention, and made him go harder this week in practice.
“It’s going to be a challenge, they have a really good team I believe,” the 20-year old said. “Athletic guys that are going to challenge us every single play, so we have to be on our P’s and Q’s all week.”
The five-foot-six, 176-pounder feels like he’s in the best shape of his life, thanks to Collin Klein’s uptempo scheme. Vaughn has been hitting the bike to make sure his breath and wind is on point. His improvement in that area was on full display out in the open field against the Coyotes.
Missouri will try to load the box to stop Vaughn, but he’s also lethal out of the backfield, with the softest hands of any running back in the Big 12. The Tigers’ offense put up 52 points against the Bulldogs, so the Wildcats will have to attack their young quarterback. Judging from the shutout win over South Dakota, Kansas State’s defense should be up to the task.
Missouri has lost five of its’ last six road games overall, and Vaughn anticipates the home crowd will be a factor. It’s not often the Wildcats get to play against the SEC, and he plans on taking advantage of the spotlight.
“Well anytime we have an SEC team, especially in a rivalry against Mizzou, we’re always looking forward to it.”