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The best single-game performances midway through the Kansas State season

Grant Flanders10/12/22
Article written by:On3 imageGrant Flanders

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Julius Brents/Getty

KANSAS STATE RB DEUCE VAUGHN vs SOUTH DAKOTA

Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn started the season off by rushing for 126 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Every Wildcat blocked their butts off for the elite ball-carrier, especially on his 39-yard scamper into the end zone.

He and his backup DJ Giddens were practically the only offensive production of the game. A hat-tip goes to the offensive line for opening up holes for the nearly 300 yards rushing as a team.

DEUCE VAUGHN vs MISSOURI

Vaughn doubled down the following week with an even more impressive showing against Missouri. His 24 carries, 146 yards and two touchdowns for K-State might be his best performance thus far this season.

The offensive line has been great at run blocking for most of the year, and that really proved the be true in the first couple of weeks. When Vaughn didn’t have big holes to run through, he used his elite shiftiness and burst to put defenders in a blender.

KANSAS STATE LB DANIEL GREEN vs MISSOURI

A lot of defenders showed out against the Tigers, but Kansas State linebacker Daniel Green led the team in tackles and had one of the four team interceptions. His pick was especially impressive. It was a bad pass from quarterback Brady Cook that essentially went right to Green about five yards past the line of scrimmage. The linebacker made snatching the ball at point blank range look way too easy.

DANIEL GREEN & AUSTIN MOORE vs TULANE

While the offense failed to find much of any spark against Tulane, the defense was lights out. Green in particular had two plays that should have been enough to push K-State to victory. First was his interception that he returned 49 yards to the Tulane 23-yard line just before halftime.

The second was an impressive diving takeaway from Kobe Savage that would not have been possible had Green not been in coverage to knock the ball into the air. Both plays were drives in which the Green Wave were finding success moving the ball, making them that much more impactful.

Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t capitalize.

It was also one of Austin Moore’s better games. He led the team in tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage with one being a sack. The linebacker has surprised everyone outside of the program with his consistent and excellent play each and every game.

KANSAS STATE QB ADRIAN MARTINEZ vs OKLAHOMA

After three non-conference games of sub-par quarterback play, this was Adrian Martinez’s coming out party as a Wildcat. He racked up five touchdowns against Oklahoma after only scoring three total before the trip to Norman.

The Kansas State quarterback absolutely torched the Sooners on the ground for 148 yards and four scores.

Collin Klein had fun calling the read options and Martinez took advantage of having one of the best decoys by his side in Vaughn. His most impressive run of the day was a 55-yard rush late in the game where he hit a top speed that caught me off guard.

Adrian Martinez/Getty

JULIUS BRENTS & KOBE SAVAGE vs OKLAHOMA

Kobe Savage and Julius Brents were first and second in the tackle column versus Oklahoma. It was the toughest task they have had all season having to defend Dillon Gabriel and Marvin Mims. They held Mims to under 100 yards receiving with good coverage and Brents even assisted on a tackle for loss.

The K-State cornerback and safety have been two of the best tacklers in the secondary for the Wildcats all season, along with Josh Hayes.

ADRIAN MARTINEZ & DEUCE VAUGHN vs TEXAS TECH

The duo tore the Red Raiders apart. Martinez did all the scoring with four total touchdowns, while Vaughn rushed for his highest total at Kansas State with 170 yards. Coincidentally, their longest runs were 69 yards each.

FELIX ANUDIKE-UZOMAH & KHALID DUKE vs TEXAS TECH

Although the defense allowed 28 points to Texas Tech, the unit was still great. Felix Anudike-Uzomah and Khalid Duke ruled the day with three sacks apiece. It earned Duke the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

The outside linebacker not only got to the quarterback a bunch, but he also finished with eight total tackles. Anudike-Uzomah had six total tackles. The defensive end had giant expectations coming into this season and has matched them every step of the way. His NFL stock continues to rise.

Also, Felix owns the Red Raiders. Let’s not forget maybe the most impressive play of his career was when he bull-dozed two offensive linemen in Lubbock last year to reach the ball-carrier in the end zone for an improbable safety that changed the outlook of the K-State season.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah/Getty

PHILLIP BROOKS vs IOWA STATE

It was one 81-yard touchdown catch and run this past weekend that catapulted Phillip Brooks onto the list. It was the first Kansas State possession of the game in Ames and was the largest play from scrimmage of the season. Brooks even broke a tackle after catching it and sprinted 55 yards for the score without being tracked down by a defender thanks to his speed and a block from Kade Warner.

Brooks’ portion of the play was very impressive, but it would have never happened had Martinez not shaken off a defender in the pocket before throwing the dime downfield. The K-State quarterback found Brooks three more times throughout the game, good for almost 120 yards receiving.

It was easily the best individual performance we have seen from a wide receiver this season.

JOSH HAYES vs IOWA STATE

Josh Hayes was legitimately everywhere for the Wildcats against Iowa State. His 11 total tackles, one tackle for loss and some good coverage downfield was good enough for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

After playing his entire career at cornerback, Chris Klieman said he has moved Hayes to safety this year with the idea that it could make him more attractive to NFL teams and help Kansas State at the same time.

Thus far this season, the former FCS standout has taken that role with pride and has been one of the Wildcats’ most consistent defenders.