Manhattan, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Kansas State came in to Saturday’s game against West Virginia as a 14-point favorite. The Wildcats had already secured bowl eligibility, and were coming off a loss at Texas 27-24 the previous week. As for the Mountaineers, they entered Saturday with a five-game losing streak, and trying to keep their bowl hopes alive. West Virginia would score three touchdowns on third and long situations, and intercepted Kansas State at the Mountaineer three yard line with under a minute left to pull off a 24-20 upset win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in front of 46,332.
Following a West Virginia three-and-out to start the game, the Wildcats would strike quickly for a second straight week. Skylar Thompson hit Dalton Schoen in stride on their first offensive play from 68 yards out with 13:37 left in the first quarter to go up 7-0, with the Blake Lynch extra point. The Mountaineers would respond quickly, going 75 yards in six plays. With 11:02 left in the opening period, Jarret Doege connected with George Campbell from 19 yards out on third and seven to tie the game up at seven after the Casey Legg PAT. K-State responded with a 22-yard Blake Lynch field goal with 4:43 left in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 10-7 lead. West Virginia drove back down the field, and had missed a 41-yard field goal. However, the Wildcats were called for a personal foul for having contact with the center. The Mountaineers took advantage of the penalty, and on third & 13 from the K-State 15, Doege and Campbell connected for their second touchdown of the game on the final play of the first quarter to take the 14-10 lead.
The lone points in the second quarter came from Kansas State. Blake Lynch hit a 33-yard field goal with 43 seconds left in the first half to pull them to within 14-13. That would be the score at the break. West Virginia drove down the field in the final seconds of the half, but missed a 37-yard field goal.
Kansas State opened the second half with a 13-play, 70-yard drive, that took 7:04 off the clock. James Gilbert would take the option pitch from Thompson and score from three yards out to give the Cats a 20-14 lead.
Heading into the fourth quarter, West Virginia mounted a drive, and in the first minute of the fourth quarter, Casey Legg would drill a 51-yard field goal to pull the Mountaineers to within 20-17. After a Wildcat three-and-out, West Virginia would take the lead on a scramble play. On third and 22, Jarret Doege found a wide open Bryce Wheaton from 50 yards out with 11:27 left to give them the 24-20 lead with the Legg PAT. Wheaton got behind the K-State secondary to score the go-ahead touchdown.
Kansas State had one final chance to win. Starting at their own eight yard line, the Wildcats move the ball to the Mountaineer 30 yard line. With 28 seconds left, Hakeem Bailey intercepted an underthrown ball by Skylar Thompson at the three yard line, and West Virginia would run out the clock to take a stunning 24-20 win.
K-State won every statistic, with the exception of turnovers. Skylar Thompson was 24-39 passing for 299 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Dalton Schoen had two receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown, while Phillip Brooks had four catches for 63 yards. James Gilbert had 13 carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. The Wildcats finished with just 122 yards on the ground and finished with a total of 421 yards.
West Virginia’s Jarret Doege was 20-30 passing for 234 yards with three touchdowns. his leading receiver was George Campbell, who caught five passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Leddie Brown had 13 carries for 62 yards. The Mountaineers 319 yards of offense.
West Virginia improves to 4-6 overall, and 2-5 in the Big 12. They will host Oklahoma State Saturday morning at 11 am. Kansas State falls to 6-4 overall, 3-4 in conference play, and will visit Texas Tech Saturday evening at 6 pm.
Head Coach Chris Kleiman
Quarterback Skylar Thompson
Running Back James Gilbert
Wide Receiver Dalton Schoen
Defensive Tackle Jordan Mittie
Safety Denzel Goolsby