From The Couch – The Wildcats Are One Win Away From The Big 12 Championship Game After Beating West Virginia

From The Couch – The Wildcats Are One Win Away From The Big 12 Championship Game After Beating West Virginia

Kansas State is one victory away from securing a spot in the Big 12 championship game after a 48 to 31 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon. If you like scoring, you had a blast watching this game, as both teams lit up the scoreboard. K-State led 28-19 after one quarter and scored early in the second quarter to take a 35-19 lead. West Virginia never quit, but K-State scored enough to keep their distance from the Mountaineers in a game that was never in doubt in the second half.

Here are the quotes of note and some highlights from the game.

“That kid is playing with so much confidence and he’s thrown some lasers in there. This was a big statement game for Will after coming here in 2020 and struggling. I’m just so proud of that kid. He might be the most-improved player in the Big 12 right now.”…Chris Klieman, post-game

JM: Howard threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns in the game, but also had a bad interception that was returned for a touchdown. He didn’t let that phase him, however, as he kept the K-State offense humming all day.

JM: K-State took a 7-0 lead on this touchdown run by Deuce Vaughn on their first drive of the game. This drive set the tone for the offense, as they racked up 437 yards of offense in the game.

JM: This pick-six interception by Cincere Mason on West Virginia’s first possession put the Wildcats ahead by two touchdowns. West Virginia answered right away on this 26-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Greene to Sam James. James had a big day for the Mountaineers, with three touchdowns and 102 yards receiving.

JM: K-State got the ball back and Will Howard threw a pick-six of his own to West Virginia’s Malachi Ruffin. A missed extra point allowed K-State to keep the lead 14-13.

“The young Will Howard, a pick-six would’ve affected me differently, but I have more experience, I’m older and more mature, and I feel like I believe in myself more, and when you have that true intrinsic confidence and believe in yourself, and know your teammates believe in you and you believe in your teammates, it’s hard not to go back out there and pound the stone every play.”…Will Howard, post-game

JM: And that’s exactly what they did. DJ Giddens scored on a 49-yard touchdown run on the very next drive….

JM: DJ Giddens out-gained Deuce Vaughn for the first time. He had 78 yards rushing on the day versus 67 for Vaughn.

JM: This touchdown run by Howard was setup by a fourth down stop by the Wildcat defense, followed by a 26-yard pass from Howard to Malik Knowles that put the ball a few inches short of the goal line. The 15-point lead was short-lived, as the Mountaineers answered with a 71-yard touchdown pass from Greene to James….

JM: West Virginia’s kicker missed the extra point again, and the Wildcats kept a 28-19 lead. K-State got the ball back and scored yet again on this great catch by emerging star Ben Sinnott….

JM: West Virginia never really went away in this game, scoring on the very next possession to cut the lead ten after missing a two point conversion….

JM: A pair of field goals by Ty Zentner gave K-State a 41-25 halftime lead. Both offenses slowed down in the third quarter, as neither team scored. K-State was able to get on the board again in the fourth quarter on this 43-yard touchdown pass to Malik Knowles.

JM: Knowles had a big day, catching six passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.

K-State gave up one more touchdown, but were able to hold on for the 48-31 win. Up next is the Sunflower Showdown next Saturday at 7:00 in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It should be a raucous environment at The Bill, with a spot in the Big 12 championship on the line for K-State. Win, and they’re in. Texas plays Baylor on Friday, and if Baylor should win, K-State automatically gets a spot regardless of what happens against KU. The way Texas is playing, I tend to think they will take care of Baylor, but you never know.

“It’s going to be a fun one, it’s going to be a wild one. We need a good week of preparation. I’m excited for next Saturday.”…K-State defensive end Brendan Mott, post-game

JM: You and me both, Brendan.


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