Even after a week off, there was still some lingering frustration for the Kansas State Wildcats as they started their game with West Virginia on Saturday. It wasn’t so much leftover frustration from the loss to Baylor two weeks ago as it was an inability to generate consistency on Offense. K-State saw each of their two Quarterbacks Daniel Sams and Jake Waters commit turnovers and the Defense faced some tests of its own as West Virginia was able to generate some big plays by their Offense.
However, at the end of the day it’s all about finishing and the Wildcats did just that by outscoring the Mountaineers 21-0 in the fourth quarter on their way to a 35-12 victory before a Homecoming crowd of 52,898 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. K-State’s first drive began with good field position and they marched to the West Virginia 16-yard line before Waters, trying to gain more yardage on a good run lost the ball and the Mountaineers recovered. However, K-State’s Defense was able to hold and force a West Virginia punt.
The Cats got on the board first when Sams came off the field and Waters stepped in and fired a 35-yard touchdown strike to Tyler Lockett who was back in action after missing the Baylor game and the second half of the Oklahoma State game to give K-State a 7-0 lead. West Virginia answered early in the second quarter marching 47 yards in seven plays and capping the drive with a six-yard touchdown run by Quarterback Clint Trickett, however the extra point was blocked and the lead stood at 7-6.
West Virginia would mount two more drives deep into Wildcat territory before the half was over. The first was finished off by a 21-yard Field Goal by Josh Lambert. On the next drive West Virginia appeared to be attempting another Field Goal but instead tried a fake, however the Wildcats snuffed it out and were able to go into halftime trailing only 9-7. After Sams fumbled inside the Mountaineer five-yard line early in the third quarter, West Virginia drove to the K-State 33-yard line before stalling and Lambert upped WVU’s advantage to 12-7 with a 50-yard Field Goal.
After that, it was all Kansas State. The Wildcats took the lead back for good with 2:16 left in the third quarter when Sams found Lockett from nine yards out for a 14-12 lead. Then the Wildcats turned their first fourth quarter drive into a score when Tramaine Thompson, in action for the first time since the Texas game on September 21 hauled in a 30-yard pass from Waters to make the score 21-12. Then after a West Virginia fumble Lockett scored his third touchdown of the game on a 24-yard pass from Waters to make the score 28-12. After stopping West Virginia on downs, the Cats marched 64 yards in eight plays and capped it with a four-yard run by John Hubert providing the final margin of 35-12.
After racking up 199 yards rushing against Baylor two weeks ago, Sams was only the third leading Wildcat runner against West Virginia registering 30 yards on 14 carries. However he was perfect through the air completing all eight of his passes and he and Waters combined for only three incompletions the entire afternoon. Hubert was the leading ground gainer with 89 yards on 19 carries, Waters was the passing star completing 10 of 13 throws for 198 yards and three touchdowns and Lockett hauled in eight catches for 111 yards and three scores. The K-State Defense turned in their best performance of the season forcing three turnovers and holding the Mountaineers to just 367 yards of total Offense.
Kansas State (3-4, 1-3) will be at home again next weekend when they welcome the Iowa State Cyclones to Manhattan on Ft. Riley Day. ISU was steamrolled on Saturday by Oklahoma State 58-27. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
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