OFFENSIVE MVP: Malik Knowles
Malik Knowles had his best game in a while. Before Skylar Thompson went down with his scary injury, the Kansas State quarterback found Knowles on two deep routes to set up the Wildcats nicely in the first half.
When Will Howard relieved Thompson, the backup found Knowles two more times and got the receiver over the 100-yard receiving mark on only four catches. That is the Knowles we knew we could see, but have been waiting for it to come to fruition.
Deuce Vaughn should be shouted out for another game with over 100 yards rushing. However, he did have a bad fumble in the second quarter and wasn’t as sharp as we’ve been accustomed to seeing out of him. He may not have hit his standard.
DEFENSIVE MVP: Felix Anudike
Felix Anudike had three sacks and two forced fumbles. That is all that really needs to be said, but there is no doubt he is the next great Kansas State defensive end. Even the dynamic Wyatt Hubert never had a three sack game.
Not to mention, two of the sacks were of the strip variety and both ended up being turnovers for the defense.
Cody Fletcher’s play should also be commended. He was was all over the field for the second week in a row, and he had to hold things down in the first half while his running mate Daniel Green was out due to targeting late against Stanford.
Felix Anudike (AP)
SPECIAL TEAMS MVP: Ty Zentner
Not a lot happened in special teams. Taiten Winkel went one of two on his field goal attempts and there wasn’t a lot of excitement in the return game, like everyone was assuming.
Ty Zentner punted the ball well, even if it was just twice. He should have had one punt that pinned Southern Illinois inside their own five yard line, but the coverage team failed to stop it from rolling into the end zone.
His other try was a nice punt that pinned the Salukis inside the 10-yard line.