Kansas State needed a win and got it Saturday defeating TCU 24-17 giving them their first Big 12 win of the season. A loss would have dropped the Wildcats to 0-3 in the Big 12 and in ninth place. Instead, the win improves them to 1-2 in conference play putting them in a tie with TCU and temporarily with Oklahoma State and ahead of Texas Tech, West Virginia and Kansas. At the end of the day the Wildcats will be tied for either fifth or sixth in the Big 12.
Kansas State plays Oklahoma and Texas in the next three weeks sandwiched around a game in Lawrence against the Jayhawks. After that stretch the Wildcats will have three games left in the regular season with a final game being at home against what is right now a tough Iowa State team.
Player of the Game
Kansas State won. Nobody stood out. So I’m giving the Player of the Game award to the player who made the biggest play of the game and that is QB Skylar Thompson. Thompson was just 11-for-23 passing for 172 yards but he did have two touchdowns. Better than any of that was his decision making late in the game taking the run opportunities TCU presented to him. His 61-yard run from the Kansas State ten yard line was huge and my play of the game.
Skylar Thompson ran 61-yards to move the Wildcats from their own 10 to the TCU 29 with under 8 minutes remaining in the game. The play eventually led to the game-winning touchdown pass.
The defense gets a good job in this game. Although they allowed 228 yards rushing, 115 of them to QB Max Duggan, they limited the scoring and came up big on TCU’s last real drive. Wyatt Hubert sacked QB Max Duggan on first down for a nine yard loss. That sack prevented TCU from converting a first down and effectively ended the game.
Jonathan Alexander blocked a TCU punt on its second possession of the game. Alexander recovered the block as well at the TCU 20. Two plays later Skylar Thompson hit TE Nick Lenners for a touchdown to go up 7-0.
WR Malik Knowles returned to the Kansas State offense Saturday and showed the value he provides the offense. When Skylar Thompson is struggling to make a play he can always throw it Knowles’ direction and good things are likely to happen. Knowles bailed out Thompson in this game. He ended up with three receptions for 48 yards.
WR Wykeen Gill had three receptions for 45 yards in the game.
Room for Improvement
Kansas State’s defense struggled to stop the run. TCU’s touchdown drive on its fourth possession was 76 yards entirely on the ground. QB Max Duggan and RB Sewo Olonilua did almost all of the damage.
Penalties. Kansas State had three 15-yard penalties in the first half alone. The Wildcats finished with eight penalties for the game for 79 yards.
Kansas State hosts Oklahoma next weekend in Manhattan.