The Kansas State Wildcats snapped their three game losing streak by knocking off Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown. As in most rivalry games, this game was far more competitive than the experts predicted. However, Kansas State was able to escape with the victory. The Wildcats have now won nine straight against the Jayhawks, and Bill Snyder improves his record to 21-1 as head coach against Kansas.
Kansas State improves their record to 4-4, positioning themselves for a run at bowl eligibility. The Kansas Jayhawks fall to 1-7, but perhaps this game can serve as a moral victory heading into their winnable matchup with Baylor.
To start the game, Kansas struck first with a Gabriel Rui field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Kansas State immediately answered with a 99-yard DJ Reed kickoff return to take a 7-3 lead. The Jayhawks battled back and added another field goal to cut the deficit down to one.
The second quarter was a defensive showdown with the only points scored being a Kansas State field goal. The Wildcats led 10-6 at halftime.
Kansas State started the third quarter on a roll, topping off a long drive with an Alex Barnes touchdown run. Before the end of the quarter, the Wildcats added another field goal to make their lead 20-6 heading into the final quarter of play.
The fourth carter was a rollercoaster, with both teams answering back and forth. The Jayhawks capped off a 97-yard drive with a Taylor Martin to cut into the lead. Kansas State answered with an Alex Barnes touchdown run of their own to extend their lead back to two touchdowns.
The Jayhawks would not go away however. They answered when Carter Stanley threw a dime that turned into a 60-yard Steven Sims touchdown reception. Kansas trailed 27-20 with just under seven minutes remaining in the game. The Wildcats responded well to the pressure and went down the field adding another field goal to cushion the lead back to two possessions. Kansas could not answer, and the Wildcats escaped Lawrence with a 30-20 win.
|3rd Down Eff||3-11||6-16|
|4th Down Eff||0-1||0-2|
|Yards Per Pass||10.6||8.7|
|Yards Per Rush||4.7||2.3|
|KSU – A. Delton||4/7||98||14.0||0||0||35.8|
|KU – C. Stanley||24/48||418||8.7||1||1||43.8|
|KSU – A. Barnes||23||128||5.6||2||22|
|KU – K. Herbert||12||33||2.8||0||13|
|KSU – B. Pringle||3||92||30.7||0||38|
|KU – S. Sims Jr||9||233||25.9||1||60|
Emptying The Notebook
Kansas State expected Jesse Ertz to play in this game, but ultimately Ertz was a late scratch. This meant that Alex Delton would get his third consecutive start. To make matters worse, Delton got injured in the second quarter, and although it did not look too serious he did not return to the game. Skylar Thompson took the rest of the snaps under center. Kansas State needs to get healthy at quarterback soon if they want to make a run at bowl eligibility.
Kansas turned in one of their best performances of the year Saturday. After looking awful last week against TCU, the Jayhawks showed improvement against their rival. If they play to a similar level next week, Kansas could very possibly knock off the Baylor Bears.
Kansas QB Carter Stanley got his first start of the season this Saturday and he certainly impressed. The sophomore threw for 418 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Although Stanley can improve his efficiency, he flashed great potential to be the Jayhawks quarterback of the future.
The Kansas State defense was torched for the second consecutive week. This comes as a surprise as Bill Snyder teams usually boast great defenses. With a trip to Lubbock looming next week, Kansas State needs to patch up this defense quickly because the Red Raiders can flat-out score.