May 27, 2024

Deuce Vaughn not feeling any added pressure to beat Texas

Kansas State Wildcats Football

Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn carries the ball during the second quarter against Iowa State Saturday October 8, 2022 at Jack Trice Stadium. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State’s star running back is coming off a stellar performance in the victory over Oklahoma State, and he’s looking to carry that momentum against Texas.

There’s no denying Deuce Vaughn is one of the best rushers in the country. He has the numbers to back that up, with five 100-yard performances this season. Vaughn was also named the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Player of the Week for his heroics against the Pokes.

Now the Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in the conference, and they’re 13th in this week’s Playoff rankings. Vaughn is proud that all of Kansas State’s hard work is paying off on the gridiron. The Wildcats are No. 2 in the Big 12 standings, a spot that’ll be on the line this Saturday under the lights against the Longhorns.

Vaughn understands the magnitude of this matchup is huge. And not just because he’s a Texas native, who once considered playing in Austin as a four-star prospect. It’s no mystery the Longhorns have won five-straight over the Wildcats, including the last two at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Not to mention Texas is the only Big 12 team Coach Chris Klieman has yet to defeat in his tenure with Kansas State. Regardless, Vaughn is approaching this game like any other one, with an intense week of practice.

“For us to be playing against a team I’m from, of course the chip is a little bit larger on your shoulder, because of some things that happened with how the recruiting process went,” Vaughn said. “But you can never let that fuel you, you got to go out there and play another game for your guys.”

The five-foot-six, 176-pounder is almost back fully healthy. And that has built his confidence. Vaughn is averaging 112.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks second in the Big 12 and 13th in the FBS. He went over the century mark in rushing in his last two games against the Longhorns too. Still, it wasn’t enough for Kansas State to win.

So he’s knows the offensive line is going to be a focused unit throughout the week. After all, Vaughn anticipates this game is going to be won in the trenches.

“Anytime you have five guys up in front of you that are playing the way they play, their fighting their butts off every single time you get out there, everybody working together, it makes your job really easy,” he said. “You just got to put the ball where it needs to be, and at that point go and make somebody miss.”

Kansas State (6-2) has the best rushing offense in the league, averaging 228 yards per game. The Wildcats also have 19 touchdowns on the ground this fall. Meanwhile the Longhorns are third in the Big 12 and 33rd in the FBS against the run. That makes the matchup more intriguing in Vaughn’s eyes, so preparation is going to be vital.

Texas (5-3) has had an extra week to prepare for Kansas State. There’s no way Steve Sarkisian is going to let his team make the same mistakes as the Pokes did. The Longhorns know what the Wildcats are capable of, and the home crowd is going to be really into it.

Vaughn plans on bringing his A game too, despite Klieman keeping quiet on who’s going to be his starting quarterback for the clash. None of it matter to Vaughn, just as long as the offense takes care of business. He’s just enjoying his 2022 campaign game by game.

“This is the most fun I’ve had playing football since I was a little kid,” the 21-year old said. “This team, everybody in it, this core system, this staff, man they make it fun t come in here every single day.”

No player on the roster has ever felt what it’s like to beat Texas. So accomplishing that feat will definitely be something Vaughn can add to his legacy as a Wildcat. It also helps that the Longhorns are winless on the road this fall.