GAMEDAY College Football

Texas Bowl: Kansas State 42, Louisiana State 20

(AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Associated Press

HOUSTON - Deuce Vaughn and the Kansas State Wildcats finished a streaky season on a positive note with a dominant 42-20 win over short-handed LSU in the Texas Bowl.

Vaughn, a sophomore running back and first-team All-American as an all-purpose player, rushed for 146 yards on 21 carries. He scored four touchdowns - three rushing and one receiving.

Kansas State (8-5) also got a strong performance from quarterback Skylar Thompson, who returned to make his final collegiate start after missing the regular-season finale with an ankle injury.

Thompson completed 21 of 28 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. Malik Knowles had two touchdown catches and 42 yards receiving.

While LSU (6-7) had a tough time slowing Vaughn and Thompson, the Tigers had another uphill battle on offense.

With starting quarterback Max Johnson having transferred to Texas A&M, backup Myles Brennan recovering from surgery and a third-string freshman that would have had to burn his redshirt to play, LSU entered the game with a big question mark under center.

The Tigers turned to senior receiver Jontre Kirklin, who hadn't played quarterback since high school in 2016. Kirklin had only played in 25 games over five seasons, including his first two years as a cornerback.

The Tigers didn't get a first down until late in the second quarter. By that time, Kansas State already had 12 first downs and a 21-0 lead. LSU later scored on that drive, though, a 23-yard touchdown catch by Jaray Jenkins.

Kirklin was 7-of-11 passing for 138 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while also rushing for 61 yards on 11 carries. He delivered an 81-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hilton Jr. as time expired.

The Tigers were led by interim coach Brad Davis, the offensive line coach who was filling in between the transition from Ed Orgeron to former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. LSU announced in December that Davis would be returning to Kelly's staff as the offensive line coach.

Kansas State appeared to have a slight edge in the makeup of the crowd, despite Baton Rouge, Louisiana, being nearly 500 miles closer to Houston than Manhattan, Kansas.

The Wildcats led 21-7 at halftime.

Kansas State enjoyed its most lopsided win over an SEC opponent in school history, improving to 5-17 against the conference.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter LSUKanSt
KanSt TD 9:13 Malik Knowles 25 yd pass from Skylar Thompson (Ty Zentner kick) 0 7
Second Quarter LSUKanSt
KanSt TD 11:39 Deuce Vaughn 1 yd run (Ty Zentner kick) 0 14
KanSt TD 7:01 Malik Knowles 5 yd pass from Skylar Thompson (Ty Zentner kick) 0 21
LSU TD 0:20 Jaray Jenkins 23 yd pass from Jontre Kirklin (Preston Stafford kick) 7 21
Third Quarter LSUKanSt
KanSt TD 8:46 Deuce Vaughn 18 yd run (Ty Zentner kick) 7 28
Fourth Quarter LSUKanSt
KanSt TD 14:56 Deuce Vaughn 2 yd pass from Skylar Thompson (Ty Zentner kick) 7 35
KanSt TD 10:15 Deuce Vaughn 1 yd run (Ty Zentner kick) 7 42
LSU TD 3:35 Malik Nabers 15 yd pass from Jontre Kirklin (Preston Stafford kick) 14 42
LSU TD 0:00 Chris Hilton Jr. 81 yd pass from Jontre Kirklin 20 42
Team Stats
  LSU Kansas State
First downs 15 22
  Rushing 9 8
  Passing 4 13
  Penalty 2 1
3rd Down Efficiency 3-10, 30% 8-12, 67%
4th down efficiency 2-3, 67% 2-2, 100%
Rushes-Yards 37-170 34-183
Passing Yards 138 259
Return Yards 36 87
Completions-Attempts-Int 7-11-2 21-28-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 2--18
Punts 3 2
Punts-Average 45 33
Fumbles Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 6-59 7-75
Time of Possession 27:38 32:22
LSU Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Kirklin 7 11 138 3 2
Kansas State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
S. Thompson 21 28 259 3 0
LSU Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Kirklin 11 61 5.5 0
C. Kiner 14 53 3.8 0
J. Williams 7 32 4.6 0
M. Nabers 4 23 5.8 0
B. Thomas Jr. 1 1 1.0 0
Kansas State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
D. Vaughn 21 146 7.0 3
J. Dineen 4 18 4.5 0
S. Thompson 5 10 2.0 0
J. Schippers 3 5 1.7 0
M. Knowles 1 4 4.0 0
LSU Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
C. Hilton Jr. 1 81 81.0 1
J. Jenkins 1 23 23.0 1
M. Nabers 2 17 8.5 1
B. Thomas Jr. 2 15 7.5 0
J. Mashburn 1 2 2.0 0
Kansas State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
P. Brooks 5 69 13.8 0
M. Knowles 3 42 14.0 2
K. Warner 3 42 14.0 0
D. Imatorbhebhe 2 35 17.5 0
L. Weber 2 29 14.5 0
E. Hommel 1 24 24.0 0
S. Wheeler 1 12 12.0 0
N. Lenners 1 5 5.0 0
B. Sinnott 1 4 4.0 0
D. Vaughn 2 -3 -1.5 1
LSU Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Kansas State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
R. Elder 1 32
R. Yeast 1 0
LSU Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Atkins 3 135 45.0
Kansas State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Blumer 1 45 45.0
T. Zentner 1 21 21.0
LSU Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Kansas State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
P. Brooks 1 19 19.0
LSU Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
C. Kiner 2 36 18.0
Kansas State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
M. Knowles 1 36 36.0
LSU Missed FG
Player Length
Kansas State Missed FG
Player Length
T. Zentner 54




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