Deuce Vaughn Dominant as Kansas State Blows Out Short-Handed LSU in 2022 Texas BowlJanuary 5, 2022
The Kansas State Wildcats defeated the LSU Tigers 42-20 in the Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on Tuesday night. Sophomore running back Deuce Vaughn rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns and also added a receiving score as Kansas State finishes the season with an 8-5 record.
Senior quarterback Skylar Thompson completed 21 of 28 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. It's the Wildcats' first win in a bowl game since they defeated UCLA in the Cactus Bowl in 2017.
LSU finishes the season 6-7, its first time finishing below .500 since 1999. Senior wide receiver Jontre Kirklin, who started at quarterback for the first time since he graduated high school in 2017, threw for 138 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while adding 61 rushing yards.
The Tigers were down to 39 scholarship players, so kudos to the program for even playing in the bowl game when other teams in similar circumstances have withdrawn. But the team just couldn't keep up with the Wildcats, and that was apparent early on.
Thompson and company opened the game with three consecutive touchdown drives, two of which went for 11 and 18 plays to help Kansas State dominate the time of possession. Malik Knowles caught both of Thompson's first-half touchdown passes.
CFB Blitz @BlitzCfb
Great protection by the Kansas State offensive line as he finds Malik Knowles for the TD. Knowles has 2 TD receptions today. Perfect start by the Wildcats. LSU just looks incompetent on offense.<br><br>LSU 0<br>KANSAS STATE 21<br><br> <a href="https://t.co/KLBpLWXVUA">pic.twitter.com/KLBpLWXVUA</a>
Preceding Knowles' second touchdown reception was an interception by Kansas State defensive back Russ Yeast, which hilariously occurred when incoming LSU head coach Brian Kelly was discussing his fake Southern accent.
The Tigers' one moment of success in the first half came when Kirklin found Jaray Jenkins in the end zone for a 23-yard score.
Despite the tough circumstances, LSU managed to finish with 170 rushing yards. Kirklin found promising freshman receiver Malik Nabers for another score in garbage time with the game already out of reach. Nabers, an All-SEC freshman team selection, made a nice diving catch in the back of the end zone.
Kirklin capped the game with an 81-yard strike to Chris Hilton Jr. as time expired.
But the night belonged to Kansas State. Thompson, a sixth-year super senior, ended his career with one of his best performances of the season. It was his second game this year with three passing touchdowns to finish his time as a Wildcat with 42 scores through the air. Wildcats head coach Chris Klieman pulled his offensive starters with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter.
After Tuesday's performance, Vaughn ends the season with 18 rushing touchdowns. Kansas State's future is bright with him returning for his junior year.