Anudike-Uzomah enters record books in football’s 31-12 homecoming win over TCU

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Felix Anudike-Uzomah, a defensive end, stops TCU from carrying the ball down the field. (Elizabeth Sandstrom | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State football team took down the TCU Horned Frogs by a final score of 31-12 on Saturday, improving the Wildcats’ overall record to 5-3 and 2-3 in conference play.

K-State was led by an all-time defensive performance by sophomore defensive end “King” Felix Anudike-Uzomah. King Felix seemingly tied the NCAA single-game sack record with 6.0 sacks in the game, but the NCAA changed the official count to 4.0 later in the day.

The two sacks taken off the count were forced fumbles that ended up beyond the line of scrimmage, which, by rule, counts as a quarterback run. The four sacks were still enough to tie K-State’s single-game sack record with Chris Johnson against Missouri in 2000.

King Felix’s play awarded him multiple accolades, including the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. The defensive end saw a slurry of recognition from his teammates, with star sophomore running back Deuce Vaughn even getting involved in King Felix’s post-game interview.

Deuce had a great day himself against the Horned Frogs, with 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and a couple of receptions for 49 yards. Deuce had a lighter load than he’s used to on the receiving end as super-senior quarterback Skylar Thompson threw 13 completions to six receivers for 242 yards, highlighted by a 73-yard touchdown from senior tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe.

K-State led the whole game and never left a doubt as to who the better team was. On the first possession, Thompson ran in a four-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. TCU then kicked a field goal to make it 7-3, but Deuce Vaughn exploded shortly after for a 42-yard touchdown run.

The Horned Frogs did force a safety against the Wildcats halfway through the second quarter to make the score 14-5, but Deuce finished the half with a one-yard touchdown run to push the score to 21-5 heading into the locker room.

After a scoreless third quarter, Thompson found Imatorbhebhe on the 72-yard touchdown mentioned earlier on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 28-5 lead. A K-State field goal and TCU touchdown with 15 seconds left in the game gave us a final score of 31-12.

Kicking for K-State was true freshman Chris Tennant, who stepped up for the occasion, going 4/4 on extra points and nailing a 42-yarder. Usual kicker Taiten Winkel, junior, didn’t play because of “minor injuries,” as stated by head coach Chris Klieman.

The other major event during the game resulted in the benches clearing for both teams. A quarterback run out-of-bounds by Thompson ended in a hard-hitting late hit by TCU safety Josh Foster.

The play started a brawl between the two teams that ended in three ejections for punching — Da’Veawn Armstead and D’Arco Perkins McAllister of TCU and K-State junior wide receiver Tyrone Howell.

Despite the scuffle, Klieman had nothing but good things to say about his team after the game.

“I thought our guys played with a lot of confidence, a lot of belief, that they knew what TCU was going to do and we just had to go out and play with great technique and execute and had some really good performances,” Klieman said. “Obviously Felix’s unbelievable performance, but we had collectively a really good team effort.”

The Wildcats covered the three points that Vegas said they would win by, but the two teams failed to amass 58.5 combined points to reach the over/under.

K-State travels to Lawrence this week to play Kansas (1-7, 0-5) in the Sunflower Showdown. The Wildcats have an opportunity to push their conference back up to .500 after making it 2-3 against TCU and a chance to solidify a bid for a bowl game if they reach six wins.

Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. and can be watched on FS1. K-State is favored by a whopping 24 points, with the over/under set at 56.5. Look out for the Collegian’s Game Preview and Know Your Opponent articles coming out this week.

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