MANHATTAN - Following a gutsy 31-23 win over Southern Illinois last week, Kansas State hosts 2-0 Nevada at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
The game kicks off at 1 p.m. and will be shown on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ with Shawn Kenney (play-by-play), Barrett Brooks (analyst) and Shane Sparks (sidelines) on the call. Fans can also catch the game on SiriusXM (S: 156; XM: 207, App: 967) in addition to The Varsity Network app.
A LOOK AT K-STATE
●K-State is looking to start 3-0 on a season for the second time in the Chris Klieman era when its hosts Nevada on Saturday.
●The Wildcats have rushed 408 yards through two games – led by Deuce Vaughn’s 244 yards – while surrendering just 69.5 yards per game on the ground. Vaughn has recorded four straight 100-yard games dating back to last season, which are the most by a Wildcat since 2018 (Alex Barnes - 4).
●Quarterback Skylar Thompson, who is back for his “Super Senior” season, ranks in the top 10 in school history in 15 career categories. He had two rushing touchdowns against Stanford to give him 24 in his career, which ranks fourth in K-State history among quarterbacks.
●Thompson is one of only two signal callers in K-State history to have 5,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a career (Ell Roberson), and he needs 835 passing yards to be the first in school history to reach the 6,000/1,000 mark.
●K-State quarterbacks have the luxury of playing behind an experienced offensive line that brought back 100% of its starts from a year ago in addition to playmakers at every skill position.
●Headlining the skill group is Vaughn, who burst onto the scene a year ago as he was named the True Freshman of the Year by 247Sports, as well as an All-American and Freshman All-American by multiple outlets. Vaughn ran for 124 yards and a score against Stanford and followed it up with 120 yards and three touchdowns in a win over SIU.
●Wide receivers Malik Knowles and Phillip Brooks, the latter a 2020 All-American as a punt returner, are back, while the Wildcats welcomed tight end transfer Daniel Imatorbhebhe, who has spent time at both USC and Illinois. Knowles, Brooks and Imatorbhebhe combined for nine of the team’s 13 receptions and 132 of the Wildcats’ 144 receiving yards vs. Stanford, while Knowles had a career-best 112 yards last week.
●Defensively, the Cats have rotated nearly 10 players along the defensive front, while linebackers Daniel Green and Cody Fletcher lead the team with 13 tackles each.
●Russ Yeast and TJ Smith each recorded a pick against Stanford, the latter that was returned 39 yards to set up the final touchdown. Felix Anudike recorded 3.0 sacks last week against Southern Illinois as he was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week
●Taiten Winkel nailed his first career field goal attempt against Stanford, a 40-yarder that gave the Cats a 17-0 lead late in the game, and is 2-for-3 on the year.
A LOOK AT NEVADA
●Nevada is off to a 2-0 start, which includes a season-opening victory at California.
●Just like the Wildcats, the Wolf Pack are receiving votes in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll.
●The Wolfpack have averaged 35.5 points and 479.0 yards of offense per game this season.
●Quarterback Carson Strong has completed 68.3% of his passes and has totaled 693 yards and six scores through the air.
●Running back Toa Taua is coming off a 100-yard game against Idaho State and leads the team with 140 yards on the year.
●At receiver, five players have five or more catches with Cole Turner’s 12 and Romeo Doubs’ 10 leading the way.
●Defensively, the Wolfpack are led by Daiyan Henley’s 17 tackles and Tristan Nichols’ 4.0 sacks.
A LOOK AT THE SERIES
●This Saturday marks the first meeting all-time between K-State and Nevada.
●The Wildcats are 18-15 all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference.
●K-State is 2-0 in its history against FBS teams from the state of Nevada, defeating UNLV at home in 1993 and winning in Las Vegas in 1994.
●Since 1990, K-State holds a 91-18 (83.5%) record in regular-season non-conference games overall, which includes a 77-8 (90.7%) mark at home. During those 30 years (excluding last year’s one-game non-conference schedule), the Wildcats have had perfect regular season non-conference ledgers 16 times and unblemished marks at home on 23 occasions.