Kansas State football: 4 players to watch against TCU

Kansas State football enters its matchup with TCU on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 record. After a loss to Arkansas State to begin the year, the Wildcats upset Oklahoma and beat Texas Tech in consecutive weeks. If Kansas State plans to topple the Horned Frogs — which upset Texas 33-31 last week — and extend its winning streak to three, here are four players to watch.

QBs Skylar Thompson/Will Howard

The first entry is a dual one simply because of injury concerns. The senior Skylar Thompson sat out the second half against the Red Raiders because of injury, and his status for Saturday is still up in the air. If he plays, the Wildcats will look for another strong outing, as he’s thrown for 626 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in three games. Thompson also has three rushing scores.

If Thompson does not play, the freshman Will Howard must step up. He completed seven of 12 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown in relief last week. If Thompson is unable to go against Texas Tech, the Wildcats need Howard to play well in what would be his first career start.

HB Deuce Vaughn

The freshman Deuce Vaughn has gotten his collegiate career off to a hot start. Through three games, Vaughn leads the team in carries. He’s run the ball 36 times for 205 yards and three scores while averaging over five yards per carry. Last week alone, Vaughn picked up 113 yards and a touchdown while averaging over seven yards a carry.

Vaughn made an impact in the receiving game, hauling in eight passes for 234 yards and a touchdown. Against the Red Raiders last week, his 70-yard receiving score put the Wildcats up 10 with just over two minutes remaining to effectively seal the win. Another solid outing from Vaughn could ease some pressure on Howard if the freshman makes his first start.

DE Wyatt Hubert

After a breakout sophomore campaign, Wyatt Hubert is off to a hot start during his third season in Manhattan. The junior only has four tackles in three games, but he’s a force in the Kansas State pass rush. Hubert leads the team with 3.5 tackles for loss, and his two sacks ties the team high. He also recorded three quarterback hits, a pass breakup and a forced fumble through three games. Despite a limited number of tackles, Hubert finds other ways to impact the game. Look for the junior to make his presence felt in some form against the Horned Frogs.

DB Jahron McPherson

Fellow senior defensive back AJ Parker was also an option here, as he has 14 tackles and four pass breakups through three games and blocked a key fourth-quarter punt against Oklahoma. However, Jahron McPherson gets the nod here. The senior is third on the team with 19 tackles in three games, including one for loss. He also forced a fumble and leads Kansas State football with two interceptions. One of those two sealed the Wildcats’ upset over the Sooners.

Photo courtesy of KStateSports.com