A game that was expectedly uneventful for most of three quarters ended in thrilling fashion Saturday evening, with 21 of the final 39 points coming in the last quarter.
This year’s Farmageddon was thought to be a defensive battle and from the get-go that’s exactly what it turned out to be.
Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt and the offense began marching down the field on the opening drive, using up over seven minutes of clock to get inside the red zone of the Wildcats. A holding penalty inside the ten yard line, however, would mean that the Cyclones came away with only a field goal. Iowa State was up 3-0.
The teams would trade punts. Kansas State’s Dominique Heath would turn one of those into good field position for the Wildcats. Heath’s 43 yard punt return set Kansas State up at the Cyclone 31 yard line.
Kansas State seemed to inch their way towards the goal line, taking eight plays to get into the end zone. They did indeed get the score, however, on a Skylar Thompson run off the right tackle for a three yard touchdown. That put the Wildcats up 7-3.
Both defenses continued to step up throughout the second quarter. Late in the first half, however, Iowa State’s Allen Lazard came away with some big receptions. The Cyclones got to the Wildcats five yard line, but Kansas State’s defense would hold them to a field goal. That would end the first half scoring with the Wildcats up 7-6 at halftime.
Despite being down by a point, the Cyclones began to get some momentum to open the second half. Kempt and the offense would march down to the nine yard line. On third down, Kempt would hit Archie Murdoch in the corner of the end zone. Iowa State failed to convert the two point conversion, putting them up 12-7.
The Wildcat offense would respond and appeared to be on the move as they got to the Cyclone 41 yard line. Kansas State would be stopped, however, on a fourth down run attempt by Skylar Thompson.
Iowa State seized on the momentum from that stop, driving the ball down the field to put themselves at the three yard line. Kempt would find Hakeem Butler in the back of the end zone for a score to extend the lead. That put Iowa State up 19-7.
On the ensuing drive, Kansas State would begin to march the ball down the field. Running from the Wildcat, Dalvin Warmack would march down the field to get Kansas State inside the five yard line.
Bill Snyder’s squad then reached into their bag of tricks. On third and goal, Kansas State ran a halfback pass with Alex Barnes throwing a jump pass to fullback Winston Dimel in the end zone. The unorthodox play got the Wildcats within five points, 19-14.
The Wildcats, who needed a stop on the next drive, gave up a couple of first downs, but managed to finally get the Cyclones into a punting situation.
That punt would give Kansas State the ball back at their own 13 yard line with just under two minutes left.
It seemed unlikely the Wildcats would be able to move the ball, but Thompson began picking the Cyclone secondary apart, finding wide receivers open in Iowa State’s zone coverages. That got the Wildcats to Iowa State’s 14 yard line with 33 seconds on the clock.
Two plays later, the freshman quarterback found Dominique Heath down the sideline, who took the eight yard pass down to the Iowa State one yard line.
After an incomplete pass, Thompson took the next snap with eight seconds left and no timeouts. The freshman quarterback scrambled to his left, then to his right, then found Isaiah Zuber in the back of the end zone for the game winning touchdown. Wildcats win 20-19.
|3rd Down Eff||9-16||5-11|
|4th Down Eff||1-1||1-2|
|Yards Per Pass||7.3||7.0|
|Yards Per Rush||3.8||3.6|
|ISU – K. Kempt||24/36||264||7.3||2||0||71.1|
|KSU– S. Thompson||15/21||152||7.2||1||0||66.0|
|ISU – S. Croney||13||63||4.8||0||13|
|KSU – D. Warmack||10||42||4.2||0||13|
|ISU – A. Lazard||6||95||15.8||0||32|
|KSU – I. Zuber||7||56||8.0||1||18|
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK
The Kansas State offense struggled throughout much of the game. In fact, 155 of their total 264 yards came on the last two scoring drives of the game when the Wildcats rallied from 19-7. Iowa State was able to keep Kansas State off schedule for most of the day, repeatedly putting Skylar Thompson and the offense in long down-and-distance situations. The home team got going by running the Wildcat with Davlin Warmack and allowing Thompson to find open wide receivers on scrambles out of the backfield. Once Iowa State became noticeably more conservative on defense, additionally, it seemed to spark the Wildcat offense.
Iowa State was uncharacteristic in terms of penalties. The Cyclones, who were sitting at first in the Big 12 in terms of penalties, committed nine penalties. One of those penalties, an offside, gave Kansas State a second and one yard to go inside the Iowa State ten yard line. The penalty all but assured that the Wildcats wouldn’t have to face a third down on the entire drive. The penalties also gave Kansas State the field position that the struggling Wildcats couldn’t get on their own.
Iowa State was able to move the ball offensively for much of the day, but they twice made it into the red zone in the first half only to come away with field goals. The Cyclones will no doubt be kicking themselves for not turning either of those trips into seven points instead of three, especially given the resulting score. Other than, the Cyclones had a good day on the ground and through the air. David Montgomery went down early with an injury, but backup Sheldon Croney, Jr. proved up to the task.
Kansas State’s Skylar Thompson deserves a lot of credit for the win here. Through three quarters, he was not exactly impressive, as he struggled finding open receivers for most of the game. Driving 87 yards in under two minutes seemed like an impossible task for the Kansas State offense, but Thompson was repeatedly able to scramble to his right and find an open receiver. The freshman made some really big plays down the stretch and it was entirely fitting that he should hit the game winning touchdown pass with no time left on the clock.