Texas’s ARLINGTON (AP) — In the 2022 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship, 13th-ranked Kansas State defeated No. 3 TCU 31-28 on Ty Zentner’s 31-yard field goal kick in overtime.
After TCU (12-1) had the opening possession of overtime, the Wildcats set up the game-winning field goal after Kendre Miller was stopped short on back-to-back plays from inside the 1.
For the Wildcats (10-3, No. 10 CFP), Deuce Vaughn ran for 130 yards and a touchdown while Will Howard passed for two scores. Six weeks prior, the Wildcats had pulled out to a 28-10 lead early in the second quarter before TCU scored the game’s last 28 points.
TCU, the first Big 12 school to go unbeaten in the regular season since Texas in 2009, has a chance to go to the playoffs.
Kansas State’s Chris Klieman deserves so much more love. Great football coach.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) December 3, 2022
Before the game, Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark stated that TCU already deserved to be in the playoffs with first-year coach Sonny Dykes.
“You examine their schedule’s strength. You consider how they’ve performed during the entire year,” Yormark added. “I believe they should be admitted, without a doubt,”
Kansas State has won its third Big 12 Football championship and first one since 2012.
Football For Kansas State Stays In The Game And Scores A Knockout Blow In Overtime
Texas’s ARLINGTON — Their starting quarterback suffered an injury, and his replacement rose to fame. In back-to-back weeks, two of their best defensive backs sustained injuries that would terminate their seasons. Their kicker wasn’t even meant to be the kicker, yet he made the game-winning field goal.
The way things turn out is comical, but then again, that sums up Kansas State’s season.
The Wildcats won the Big 12 Conference as a result of their ability to, in the words of head coach Chris Klieman, “remain in the fight.”
They had to put in additional effort to succeed, holding off an unblemished No. 3 TCU comeback in the fourth quarter, and then stopping the Horned Frogs on fourth down at the goal line to open the extra period. But that just served to highlight how exceptional Ty Zentner’s 31-yard walk-off field goal was, setting off a raucous celebration among the hundreds of KANSAS-State supporters who travelled to AT&T Stadium.
Final score: TCU 28, Kansas State 31. Most likely, the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans will be the next trip.
Klieman, whose Wildcats improved to 10-3 while TCU dropped to 12-1, said, “The last couple of years, starting in January of 2021, these guys will tell you, our locker room grew so close and so tight.” “And I’m telling you that player ownership and the power of belief are key in this.
Nothing will be able to stop you once you have those two things, in my opinion.
After the Wildcats had a 4-6 season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Klieman rallied the troops two years prior. Since taking over for legendary coach Bill Snyder in December 2018, it is still his sole losing season.
This season, what he called a “culture,” showed up as tenacity and tenacity after a surprise home defeat to Tulane, then a few weeks later when they lost to TCU on the road and once more in a letdown against Texas.
Against Oklahoma on the road, Oklahoma State at home in a rout, and Baylor in Waco after the Texas setback, KANSAS-State recovered with convincing victories each time. And when the Wildcats needed to win their final three games of the regular season, they handled business decisively.
Deuce Vaughn, a junior running back who carried for 130 yards and a touchdown en route to winning player of the game honours, recalled coach Klieman’s promise to create a winning culture when he first enticed him to this school. It will be a player-led team, he stated.
“And we constructed that. Just battling through difficulties. We are so close because of everything we have experienced together, good and terrible.”
Will Howard, a junior who was set to take a redshirt season, was in charge of the offence when KANSAS-State brought in super-senior Adrian Martinez, a four-year starter at quarterback for Nebraska.
Martinez was reliable; he started the first seven games for the Wildcats and guided them to a 5-1 record. However, he was injured during the opening series of the first TCU game, giving Howard the chance to take over. Howard guided KANSAS-State to four first-half touchdowns before the Wildcats’ offence faltered in the second half, allowing the Horned Frogs to come back and win 38-28.
When Martinez returned in a home defeat to Texas, Howard again sat after leading a 48-0 thrashing of Oklahoma State. At Baylor, Martinez later sustained a second injury, after which Howard has played the entire game.
Everyone in the locker room has a great deal of faith in Would Howard, as these guys will attest to, Klieman said. “Will Howard is a clear winner as well. He is an opponent. He yearned to have fun.”
In his third attempt, Howard—who struggled as a true freshman in 2020 and once more last year when he was thrust into the spotlight as Skylar Thompson’s backup—has shown that he is a capable leader. And in their greatest game under Klieman to date, the entire team proved up to the challenge.
According to Howard, who completed 18 of his 32 attempts for 199 yards and two touchdowns, “We knew it was going to be a fight.” After all, we knew we were made for it. “We felt like we had some punches and they took some blows, too.”
This ended up being the defence. Although TCU totaled 469 yards of offense, the Wildcats forced two crucial fumbles, including one that was intercepted in the end zone by cornerback Julius Brents, who had been matched up against TCU’s top receiver Quentin Johnston the entire game.
Kobe Savage and Cincere Mason, KANSAS-State’s safeties, were out for the season after their respective losses to Baylor and West Virginia. The biggest game of the year also saw true freshman VJ Payne and Jacob Parrish play a huge role when starting cornerback Ekow Boye-Doe was injured in the first half.
After Max Duggan, the quarterback, ran for 5 yards on second-and-goal to just outside the end zone in overtime, the Wildcats made their biggest stops. Khalid Duke intercepted Kendre Miller on third down after he had tormented the Wildcats in the first encounter and finished with 110 yards. Daniel Green and Eli Huggins then performed the honours on fourth down, giving KANSAS-State the ball at the 25-yard line and a chance to win.
Green remarked, “I simply believe that was amazing execution, just overall by the defence. “We discussed how you should always bow up in circumstances like that.
“And that’s all it takes to win the title game—just one additional play, preferably on defence. I’m really impressed by those guys. That is a statement in and of itself.”