No. 3 TCU 12-0, 9-0 Big 12 can punch its ticket into the College Football Playoff with a win Saturday at noon EST on ABC in the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game if they can defeat for a second time this season No. 10 Kansas State 9-3, 7-2 Big 12. The game is in Arlington, Texas.
The Horned Frogs won 38-28 on Oct. 22. K-State was up 28-10 halfway through the second quarter before TCU stormed back. TCU would like to avoid that in this game. They had a handful of games this season where they had to overcome a double-digit lead. If K-State can hold off TCU it will reach 10 wins for the first time since 2012.
TCU’s Max Duggan and K-State’s Will Howard didn’t start the season as starting QBs but will battle in the championship game. Duggan did play in the season opener and hasn’t looked back since. He has 29 touchdowns with 3,070 yards, both leading the Big 12. In Howard’s case, he took over after Nebraska transfer Adrian Martinez got hurt midway through the season. Howard has 13 touchdown passes in five games and 1,224 yards.
TCU RB Kendre Miller has 1,260 yards and 16 touchdowns in 199 carries. WR Quentin Johnston has 49 receptions for 764 yards and tied for the team lead in touchdowns with 5.
On the defensive side of the ball, S Bud Clark leads the team with 4 interceptions. He also has 27 tackles on the season. CB Josh Newton and LB Jamoi Hodge each have 3 interceptions. LB Dee Winters has 6.5 sacks and 57 tackles. Hodge is second on the team with 4.5 sacks. He also has 65 tackles.
For K-State, Deuce Vaughn is the leading rusher with 1,295 yards and 7 touchdowns, only second behind Martinez’s 10. Malik Knowles has 46 receptions for 679 yards and 2 touchdowns for K-State.
DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah leads the team with 7.5 sacks and 39 tackles. LB Austin Moore leads the team in tackles with 82 to go along with 1.5 sacks. Cincere Mason, Julius Brents, and Kobe Savage all have 3 interceptions for K-State.
Written by Garin Turner