From The Couch – K-State Beats West Virginia For Their Fourth Straight Big 12 Win

From The Couch – K-State Beats West Virginia For Their Fourth Straight Big 12 Win

Rust Yeast jumps high for an interception on West Virginia’s first drive of the game

K-State won its fourth Big 12 game in a row yesterday, beating the West Virginia Mountaineers 34-17, their first victory over West Virginia since 2015. The Mountaineers outgained the Wildcats 345 to 299 in total yardage, but K-State took advantage of turnovers, recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown, and converted a key 4th down conversion in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Here’s what both sides were saying after the game…

“On the second offensive play of the game, quarterback Jarret Doege throws a perfect pass to an open Winston Wright Jr., who let it slip through his hands into his shoulder pads, bouncing into the air where it was intercepted and taken into scoring territory.

“Strange game. We had three turnovers. One was an interception on our second play of the game where we had a free run. It’s one on one, and we had a chance if we break a tackle we can go a long way,” (West Virginia Head Coach Neal) Brown said.”…Bob Hertzel, The Exponent Telegram

JM: The interception on the second play of the game by Russ Yeast was a huge play in the game and it was a great play by Yeast. While I disagree with Hertzel that it was a “perfect pass,” (It was a bit behind the receiver, which is why it bounced off his shoulder pad), K-State got the ball in great field position and drove down the field for a touchdown to go ahead 7-0. That play set the tone for the game.

“On defense, VanDarius Cowan gets charged with a textbook targeting call that not only got the WVU bandit ejected from the game but wiped out a Mountaineer interception.

“This was an interception. We were going to have the ball inside the 20. Instead, they have the ball.” (West Virginia Head Coach Neal} Brown said.”…Bob Hertzel, The Exponent Telegram

JM: A couple of things about this play. K-State had a 3rd and seven from their own nine-yard line. This play happened right in front of me in the endzone that I sit in. Skylar Thompson never should have thrown this pass. There were three or four white shirts in the vicinity of where he threw the ball. The Wildcats got bailed out by a dirty play by Cowan. There has never been a more obvious, blatant targeting call than that one. He led with his helmet and hit Thompson right in the head on purpose. It was more of a spear. Totally uncalled for. I’m glad he got ejected from the game. He deserved it. Skylar Thompson is taking dirty hits like this every game as if the defense is trying to purposely get him injured. Thompson got hit late out of bounds later in the game as well.

How does the game change if there was no needless targeting on that play by Cowan? West Virginia would have gotten the ball back deep in K-State territory and may have easily scored a touchdown to tie the game.

Oh, did I mention that WVU allowed a punt to be blocked and run into the end zone for a touchdown?

‘They had a good scheme, but we still have to do our job,’ (West Virginia Head Coach Neal ) Brown said.“…Bob Hertzel, The Exponent Telegram

JM: An illegal chop block call on West Virginia pinned the Mountaineers deep in their own territory with the ball down 7-0. They were forced to punt after a great series by the K-State defense. The punt was blocked and returned for a touchdown by the Wildcats. All of a sudden it was a 14-0 lead for K-State. Wide Receiver Ty Bowman got the block for K-State, as he ran through the line unblocked on the play.

“The defense got Kansas State into a fourth-and-8 with the outcome in doubt. Kansas State went for it with a deep pass down the middle, and it was caught.”…Bob Hertzel, The Exponent Telegram

JM: K-State was ahead 24-3 in the thrid quarter, but West Virginia grabbed the momentum back and scored two straight touchdowns to cut the lead to 24-17. The game was very much in doubt at this point. K-State had a 4th and eight from the West Virginia 39-yard line with eight minutes left in the game and Chris Klieman decided to go for it. Thompson threw a dart to tight end Sammy Wheeler down to the four-yard line to convert the fourth down and set up first and goal. Deuce Vaughn scored a touchdown on the next play to seal the game for K-State.

“We had not done a great job of stopping those guys late in that third quarter, and I thought we’d get something on the third down. We were gonna go for it on fourth down. The fact that we got a chance to regroup for a moment and
be able to get the play we want and to get the personnel we wanted. But without question, I didn’t hesitate, I looked
at Skylar (Thompson) and I said, ‘This is yours. What do you like?’ What do you like because we’ve got to get a first
down. We didn’t come here to try to hang on to win. We came here to try to win the football game and he absolutely
ripped a seam route to Sammy Wheeler.”
Chris Klieman, post-game

JM: Klieman has a lot of confidence in his sixth-year starting quarterback Skylar Thompson to ask what play he wanted to run to get the first down. It was a big-time play. If they don’t make it there, West Virginia gets the ball back in great field position and who knows how the game turns out.

“You saw just how the O line was controlling the line of scrimmage. Man, we can run downhill all game as long as we keep taking care of this up front and that’s exactly what we did.”…Deuce Vaughn, post-game

JM: One of the things I pointed out to my Dad on the drive home from the game is how much the offensive line has improved as the year has gone on. I’m very impressed with them as a unit and it appears they are getting better and better with each game. Deuce Vaughn had 129 yards rushing, averaging 4.8 yards per rush. As a team, K-State rushed for 161 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per rush. Great performance.

“987 – Rushing yards this year by Deuce Vaughn, ranking third in school history by a sophomore and 13 yards shy of producing the 17th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history.”…

JM: Vaughn should pass the 1,000-yard mark next week against Baylor. He’s putting together one of the best seasons in K-State football history.

“Sophomore defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah had three tackles, including one for a loss and forced a fumble – one of three forced fumbles by the Wildcats on Saturday… He now has six forced fumbles this year to tie the school record, which is also held by Darren Howard in 1999.”…

JM: And let’s not forget the season Felix Anudike-Uzomah is having. Anytime you have your name mentioned in the same sentence as K-State great Darren Howard, you are playing exceptionally well.

Up next for K-State is Baylor at 4:30 next Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Baylor is ranked number 11 in this week’s AP poll and number 13 in the Coaches Poll after their convincing win over Oklahoma. This is a big test after four wins in a row. Should be a great game.

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