Manhattan, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Both Iowa State and Kansas State had similar records entering Saturday’s regular season finale at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. At 7-4 overall, both teams knew they were bowl bound. The only difference was how they would finish in the Big 12 standings. The Cyclones came in at 5-3, while the Cats were at 4-4. On a bitterly cold night and a swirling wind, Kansas State would rally for the final 13 points of the game to take the 27-17 victory in front of 48,990.
It wouldn’t take long for K-State to get on the board. In fact, it was just 13 seconds. Josh Youngblood would take the opening kickoff 93 yards to the house to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with the Blake Lynch PAT. It was Youngblood’s third kickoff return this year, and the second in as many weeks.
The second period saw plenty of scoring. Kansas State would cap off a 13-play, 98-yard drive in just under seven minutes, when true freshman Jacardia Wright scored from 12 yards out with 13:28 left in the first half to put them up 14-0 with the Lynch kick. Iowa State would answer on two straight possessions to tie the game up. Their first score came with 5:59 remaining in the second period on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Brock Purdy to Sean Shaw to cut the Wildcat lead to 14-7. Connor Assalley would hit the PAT. The Cyclones would tie it up with under a minute left before halftime, when Wichita Northwest product Breece Hall punched it in from one yard out on fourth and goal to tie the game at 14 with the Assalley kick. That would be the score at the break.
Iowa State would take their first lead of the game in the middle of the third quarter, as they took advantage of the second straight Wildcat turnover. They would drive 24 yards in eight plays, and get a 36-yard Connor Assalley field goal to take their first lead of the game at 17-14. That would be short lived. Kansas State drove back down the field and tied the game with 1:31 remaining, as Blake Lynch drilled a 43-yard field goal to tie the game at 17.
In the final period, it would be all K-State on the scoreboard. After stuffing the Cyclones, the Wildcats would go 53 yards in eight plays to take the lead for good. With 10:24 left, Jordon Brown scored from 15 yards out to give Kansas State a 24-17 lead with the Lynch PAT. The Wildcats would force another Iowa State punt, and burn nearly four more minutes of the clock on their last scoring drive. Blake Lynch would hit a 27-yard field goal with 3:04 left in the game to put K-State up 27-17.
Iowa State got a couple first downs, but would be stopped at the Cat 40 with 1:38 left. Jordon Brown would pick up a first down on the second play of the drive, as the Wildcats were able to run out the clock and pick up their eighth win of the season with a 27-17 victory.
Skylar Thompson was just 5-12 passing for 57 yards with an interception. Chabastin Taylor led the team with one reception for 22 yards. The ground game averaged four yards per carry, led by Jordon Brown’s 91 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown, while Jacardia Wright added 60 yards on six carries and a touchdown. Kansas State rushed for 231 yards and finished with 288 yards of offense.
Brock Purdy was 15-30 passing for 185 yards with a touchdown pass. Tarique Milton led the way with 78 yards on four catches. Breece Hall added 59 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown, as Iowa State finished with a season-low 236 yards of offense.
Despite losing the turnover battle 2-0, Kansas State won the time of possession by a 24:12 to 25:48 margin.
With the win, K-State improves to 51-48-4 in the all-time series with Iowa State, and has now won 11 out of the last 12 meetings.
Kansas State finishes 8-4 overall, and 5-4 in the Big 12. Both K-State and Iowa State are 5-4 in the Big 12, which is tied for third place, along with Texas and Oklahoma State. The Cyclones are 7-5.
The Wildcats will wait a week to find out their bowl destination. More than likely, it will be between the Texas Bowl, Liberty Bowl or the Cheez-It Bowl.
Coach Chris Kleiman Postgame Opening Statement
Coach Chris Kleiman Postgame Questions
Quarterback Skylar Thompson
Running Back Jordon Brown
Wide Receiver Josh Youngblood
Running Back Jacardia Wright
Defensive End Wyatt Hubert
Defensive End Reggie Walker
Defensive Back Lance Robinson
Kicker Blake Lynch