It wasn’t 64 to nothing, but it was 15 in a row, as K-State beat Kansas 31 to 27 last night in Lawrence. A back-and-forth affair with five lead changes in total, the game was mostly frustrating to watch from the perspective of a K-State fan. KU was playing with third-string quarterback Cole Ballard, but that didn’t seem to matter as Kansas had the K-State defense on its heels for most of the first half, building a 20 to 16 halftime lead. KU extended their lead in the third quarter to 27 to 16, but K-State’s defense stiffened, and the Wildcats scored the final 15 points of the game to secure the victory.
Here are the sights and sounds from the game last night…
JM: This was a very politically correct answer by Will Howard until he got in the “little brother” jab at the end. I love it!
“That was a good football team we beat in a really good environment. We knew we were going to get their best shot, and I think we did get their best shot. For a while, it didn’t look very good, we were struggling to slow them down on defense, they did a good job of shift trade motions and getting us misaligned. Give them credit, I thought they did some good things.”…K-State head coach Chris Klieman, post-game
JM: The K-State defense looked out of sorts from the very beginning of the game. They were over pursuing and missing tackles for most of the half. It is a good thing they turned things around in the second half.
JM: K-State took the opening drive 75 yards in five plays and used only a minute and 16 seconds of game time to do it. I thought the rout was on. I was very wrong.
JM: K-State had trouble stopping KU running back Devin Neal, who had 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the night. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry.
“Give them credit they’ve got good running backs and good players, and I don’t think we tackled exceptionally well.”…Chris Klieman, post-game
JM: Poor tackling was definitely an issue in the first half.
JM: K-State had trouble defending KU’s option attack all night. I don’t know why they ever went away from it.
JM: The blocked extra point return for two points was a big momentum changer. K-State scored a touchdown on their next drive to take the lead.
“That really changed the game even though they ended up getting ahead, I get it that they got ahead, but they were chasing those two points all game, and we go for two and get it, and there’s your four points right there.”…Chris Klieman, post-game
JM: It’s always hard to predict how a game would have turned out had things gone differently early on, but Klieman is correct. Those four points turned out to be huge.
JM: This score before the half was deflating. Add to that the worst roughing the passer call that I’ve ever seen that was called on Austin Romaine.
JM: It took KU only three plays to drive 65 yards and the touchdown on their first posse3ssion of the second half. It looked pretty bleak for K-State at the time, but this would be KU’s final score of the game.
JM: K-State cut the lead to three on this touchdown pass from Will Howard to Keagan Johnson. Howard was just okay on the day, throwing for 165 yards on 13/24 passing with two touchdowns and an interception. He added 18 yards rushing and the game winning touchdown on the ground.
JM: This 52-yard run by Treshaun Ward was HUGE! It set up the Wildcats, who were down by 11 points at the time, to score a touchdown and two-point conversion to cut the lead to three points.
JM: DJ Giddens had a strong game, rushing for 102 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
“Our offensive line played a heck of a game. DJ and Treshaun ran the ball really well. That was huge.”…Quarterback Will Howard, post-game
JM: Credit to the offensive line, especially in the second half. They took control of the game.
JM: This was another huge play in the game. K-State recovered the muffed punt. K-State’s special teams played well. Or perhaps more accurately, KU’s special teams did not. They had a blocked extra point returned for two points and a muffed punt.
JM: Will Howard didn’t let the interception he threw faze him. The Wildcats took advantage of the muffed punt and Howard led the team on a six play, 55-yard drive for the go-ahead touchdown. It would prove to be the game-winning touchdown as well.
JM: KU wasn’t done yet, driving down to the K-State 10-yard line, but the Wildcat defense stepped up and made a huge play on 4th and five to seal the game. Marques Sigle made a great play on the interception in the end zone. Watch the clip again and notice how loud the K-State crowd was on this play. Spectacular!
“There are no words to describe it. For us to finish the way we did, it’s just a spectacular feeling.”…K-State offensive lineman Cooper Beebe, post-game
JM: Willie needs to put on some beef to fit in with this offensive line!
JM: What do you say we go for another 15 in a row?
“Any time you can win a football game in the Big 12, let alone a rivalry game, it’s huge. I know how much this means to the Kansas State fan base. I’m so glad we could do this for all of K-State nation.”…Will Howard, post-game
JM: I love Will Howard and how he recognizes the significance of this game for not only the players, but the fan base. Good stuff from Will.
K-State wraps up the regular season at 7:00 PM next Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Hope to see you there!