Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said he didn’t even know what the Big 12 standings looked like when he was asked about his Wildcats being among the leaders.
“We’ve played two games ... We’ve won both of them, so we can’t be in last (place),” Klieman said. “It’s never been brought up.”
The Wildcats (2-1, 2-0 Big 12), who already had a role in shaking things up with an early win over five-time defending conference champion Oklahoma, are at TCU today as one of the three teams (idle No. 10 Oklahoma State and No. 24 Iowa State) that made it through the first two weeks of league play without a loss.
K-State and TCU kick off at 3 p.m. on FOX, following Texas and Oklahoma.
“We definitely know our potential. Those last two wins that we had, we were so cohesive and came together so tight and played so well as a team,” defensive end Wyatt Hubert said. “ We had struggles in both of those games. We weren’t perfect, but we definitely fought all four quarters and all 60 minutes. As long as you do that, you can keep winning every game.”
After opening the season with a home loss to Arkansas State, K-State is 2-0 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2014. The Wildcats beat Oklahoma for the second year in a row before a 31-21 win over Texas Tech, when true freshman running back Deuce Vaughn had a game-clinching 70-yard touchdown catch with 2 minutes left.
TCU (1-1, 1-1) is coming off its seventh win in nine years over Texas, a 33-31 road victory that wouldn’t have been that close had the Horned Frogs not given up five big plays and been able to score touchdowns when they had to settle for four field goals, three of those after getting to at least the 15-yard line.
Texas got 225 of its 388 total yards on only five plays — two 52-yard passes, a 45-yarder and then runs of 40 and 36 yards. That was the continuation of a troubling trend for the Horned Frogs, after Iowa State had 249 yards on five plays when winning the Big 12 opener. And both opponents had more than 200 yards rushing.
“As far as the run game is concerned, which is where we’ve been hurt the most, which is a Cardinal sin, I just have to do a better job,” said TCU coach Gary Patterson, who also oversees the defense. “We’ve got to handle the crack better.”
Texas faces Oklahoma today in the Red River Rivalry (see the preview on Page 10A), and in other games today…
No. 4 Florida (2-0, 2-0 SEC) at No. 21 Texas A&M (1-1, 1-1)
Today at 11 a.m., ESPN
Line: Florida by 6 1/2.
Series record: Tied 2-2.
The Gators have played well in decisive wins over Mississippi and South Carolina but will face bigger tests in upcoming weeks with A&M starting a streak of three of four games against ranked opponents. After a lopsided loss at No. 2 Alabama last week, the Aggies could use a win against a top-10 opponent to quiet critics who have started to question if coach Jimbo Fisher has done much to improve the program.
Players to watch
Florida: TE Kyle Pitts is tied for first in the FBS with six touchdown receptions. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior has 12 receptions for 227 yards, highlighted by a 71-yard catch.
Texas A&M: QB Kellen Mond has thrown for 507 yards with four touchdowns and an interception this season. He needs just 125 yards passing on Saturday to pass Jerrod Johnson (8,011) for the most career yards passing in school history.Texas Tech (1-2, 0-2 Big 12) at No. 24 Iowa State (2-1, 2-0)
Saturday at 2:30 p.m., ABC
Line: Iowa State by 12 1/2.
Series record: Texas Tech leads 11-7.
Iowa State, out to its best Big 12 start since going 3-0 in 2002, must guard against a letdown coming off a huge win over Oklahoma. Texas Tech is looking for a breakthrough after blowing fourth-quarter leads in their last two games.
Players to watch
Texas Tech RB SaRodorick Thompson: The sophomore was held to 46 yards against Kansas State after two straight 100-yard games. His 4.04 yards after contact ranks third in the nation among running backs with at least 50 carries.
Iowa State KR Kene Nwangwu: The fifth-year senior is the Cyclones’ career leader in kick return average (26.8), and his momentum-turning 85-yarder set up the tying touchdown against Oklahoma.