The morning contest in Lubbock had several momentum swings, but saw Kansas State coming back late in the game despite things seeming to get out of reach.
The game started out looking like vintage Kansas State football, with the Wildcats possessing the ball for 11:35 in the opening quarter.
Kansas State had success with their quarterback lead plays on the opening drive and some timely passes got them in position for a field goal. The Matthew McCrane 45-yarder was good, making it 3-0.
The two teams then traded punts, continuing to pin each other deep in their own territory.
To start the second quarter, running back Justin Silmon helped Kansas State get to the Texas Tech 39 yard line with a run of 42 yards.
A couple of plays later, backup running back Dalvin Warmack came in to run the ball out of the wildcat formation and took the ball 15 yards on a cutback for the first touchdown of the game. Kansas State was then up 10-0.
Texas Tech would respond on the ensuing drive. Big pass plays would set the Red Raiders up to hand the ball off to Tre King, who ran 25 yards to cut the Kansas State lead back to a field goal, 10-7.
Kansas State would score quickly on their next drive, with quarterback Delton completing three passes of 19 yards or more. The fourth one would find Byron Pringle slashing across the field for a touchdown to put the Wildcats back up by two scores, 17-7.
On their very next play from scrimmage, however, Nic Shimonek would hit Keke Coutee streaking down the sideline for a 75 yard touchdown to cut the lead again, 17-14. That would be the last score of the half, however, as neither offense would get anything going throughout the quarter.
The Red Raiders would get the ball coming out of halftime and they started the scoring. Shimonek and the offense got some big plays to make their way downfield. The senior quarterback then hit Coutee on a fade route for the 34 yard touchdown to put Texas Tech up 21-17.
Alex Delton appeared to get hurt near the end of the first half. Third string quarterback Skylar Thompson took the field start the Wildcats first drive of the half, but was unable to get anything going.
Momentum looked to be swinging Texas Tech’s way, but Nic Shimonek would throw an interception in his own territory that would be returned for a touchdown.
The pick six by Duke Shelley was made possible when the veteran corner jumped a Coutee out route. He put the Wildcats back up by three, 24-21.
The Red Raiders would begin to drive the ball down the field on the ensuing kickoff, however. Shimonek hit Dylan Cantrell for multiple big plays and on fourth and goal found the big wideout for the touchdown. That put Texas Tech back on top, 28-24.
Shimoneck and company weren’t done with those scores, though, and after getting the Kansas State punt, Texas Tech would begin marching down the field again. That would lead to the eventual score when Shimonek hit T.J. Vasher for the 22 yard touchdown.
Texas Tech then had their largest lead at 35-24.
Good field position, a personal foul penalty and some big throws by Thompson would help get Kansas State in position for their first offensive points of the second half. McCrane chipped in a 30 yard field goal to make it a one score game in the fourth quarter, 35-27.
The Red Raiders looked to be sealing their lead in the ensuing drive, but Clayton Hatfield missed the 32 yard field goal.
Thompson would lead the offense down the field again and take it in himself to get the Wildcats within two points. A Thompson pass to Dalton Schoen would complete the two point conversion. The game went into overtime at 35-35.
Kansas State would get the ball first. Some Alex Barnes runs set up a Thompson pass to Byron Pringle in the end zone for 8 yards, putting Kansas State up 42-35.
Texas Tech would attempt to respond, but a Nic Shimonek fade on fourth down fell short.
|3rd Down Eff||6-11||11-18|
|4th Down Eff||0-0||1-2|
|Yards Per Pass||9.4||7.6|
|Yards Per Rush||4.0||3.9|
|KSU – A. Delton||13/20||167||8.4||1||1||57.9|
|TTU – N. Shimonek||34/53||405||7.6||4||1||77.1|
|KSU – J. Silmon||2||45||22.5||0||42|
|TTU – T. King||16||71||4.4||1||25|
|KSU – D. Schoen||5||103||20.6||0||54|
|TTU –K. Coutee||12||189||15.8||2||75|
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK
Issues with the kicking game continue to plague the Red Raiders despite the fact that kicker Clayton Hatfield returned to the lineup this week. Hatfield had the chance to seal this one late and could have made things all the more difficult for Kansas State had he put his team up 38-24. The eleven point margin that the Wildcats overcame seemed to be just manageable for a team playing with its third string quarterback.
Texas Tech was able to have offensive success on the ground and through the air for most of the game. Early on, pressure from Kansas State’s defensive line stalled the offense, but the Red Raiders were able to move the ball multiple ways against the Wildcats for most of the night. Some struggles in the red zone late were really what did the Red Raiders in late.
Special teams was a definite plus for Kansas State throughout the game. Returners D.J. Reed and Byron Pringle were consistently able to put their offenses in good field position. That yardage undoubtedly was useful for a team that ended up having to go to a redshirt freshman quarterback on the road. Also helpful was having a field goal kicker in McCrane who was reliable whenever called upon. In a close game that went into overtime, this third phase of the game was undoubtedly a factor.
Kudos are due Skylar Thompson, who had to come in for the injured Alex Delton in the second half and engineer the comeback. The third string quarterback isn’t as fast as the more veteran starter, but he made plays when needed and was able to throw the ball efficiently. Bill Snyder no doubt should be concerned that he’s had to go so far down the depth chart, but Thompson showed today that he can help Kansas State have success to end the season.