K-State falls to Texas 69-31, Howard, Vaughn break freshman records

Freshman runningback Deuce Vaughn runs the ball against Texas on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The Longhorns took the Wildcats 69-31. (Photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

The Texas Longhorns defeated Kansas State 69-31 in a shootout on Saturday. It was the most points by the Longhorns in the series. It was the most points the Wildcats have allowed since giving up 70 to Oklahoma in 1988.

“[I’m] disappointed in the loss, the outcome,” head coach Chris Klieman said. “[I’m] not disappointed in the resolve and effort of our players.”

The Longhorns were dominant in the ground game, recording seven touchdowns and rushing for 334 yards.

Texas finished with 608 total yards and was able to score on 11 of 14 drives.

The Wildcats had a decent day offensively, but the offense just could not keep pace with the Longhorns. K-State finished with 448 total yards, including 274 yards on the ground.

“I was really pleased with our offense,” Klieman said. “We turned the ball over, which we can’t do, but when we didn’t turn it over, we moved the ball at will.”

Freshman running back Deuce Vaughn found success and recorded 125 yards and two touchdowns.

“We have our running back for the next three years, or however long Deuce is going to be here,” Klieman said. “He is an impact guy.”

Vaughn finished the season with the most all-purpose yards, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns by a freshman in school history.

Freshman quarterback Will Howard threw two touchdown passes to become the leader in touchdowns by a freshman with eight. Howard replaced senior quarterback Skylar Thompson after he suffered a season-ending injury in the third game of the season.

“It an honor to be here and in the position that I am in,” Howard said. “I am not satisfied with where I am … there is still a ton more to work on.”

The Longhorns jumped out to an early 17-point lead that began with a 12-yard run by freshman running back Bijan Robinson. Texas reached the red zone in the following drive but had to settle for a 28-yard field goal.

Texas found the end zone again with a three-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Roschon Johnson following an interception.

The Wildcats got on the board with a 19-yard touchdown run by Vaughn after starting the game with a punt and a turnover.

Robinson rushed for his second touchdown of the game with a 30-yard run to push the lead to 24-7 on the first play of the second quarter.

Johnson got his second on a seven-yard rush to take a 31-10 lead in the second half, which was the fifth consecutive drive that ended in points for the Longhorns.

Texas had an opportunity to nearly put the game out of reach after a fumble gave the Longhorns the ball at the K-State 13. It was the second time that a Texas drive started in the red zone, but Texas failed to capitalize.

Vaughn recorded his second touchdown of the game on a four-yard run to keep the Wildcats competitive, only trailing 31-17 heading into the half.

Texas picked up where they left off in the first half and would go on to score in six straight drives.

“Credit to Texas — they were just rolling,” defensive end Wyatt Hubert said. “We had a lot of stupid mistakes, tackling, finishing, running to the ball. Small things that players need to control.”

The Longhorns took a 38-17 lead on a 75-yard run by Robinson, which was his third of the afternoon.

The K-State offense scored on its first possession of the half with a seven-yard touchdown catch by sophomore wide receiver Malik Knowles to keep the game within two possessions at 38-24.

Junior defensive back D’Shawn Jamison put the Longhorns at the one-yard line on the ensuing kickoff. Johnson recorded his third touchdown of the day on the following possession.

It was the first time in school history that two rushers recorded three touchdowns apiece in one game.

The Wildcats scored on the following possession on a 29-yard touchdown by Knowles, which tied his career-high for touchdown receptions in a game.

Following the second interception of the afternoon from Howard, Texas scored its fifth touchdown of the third quarter on a 32-yard reception by sophomore tight end Malcolm Epps to take a 66-31 lead. The Longhorns finished with 14 points off of three turnovers on the day. Texas tacked on a field goal in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 69-31.

The Wildcats will wait for a possible postseason berth, but will finish with a 4-6 regular-season record. K-State began conference play 4-0, but the regular season ended with a five-game losing skid.