April 15, 2024

Kansas State outlasts Texas Tech to pick up first Big 12 win

Manhattan, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Saturday’s game featured two of the top units in the Big 12. Texas Tech brought in the top offense, while Kansas State came in with the top defense in the conference. In the end, it would be the top defense prevailing, despite the yardage given up. The Wildcats held on for a 44-38 win over the Red Raiders on Harley Night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The win was in Coach Bill Snyder’s 300th game as head coach, and K-State won its 100th Big 12 game, joining Oklahoma and Texas to be in that category.

Both offenses scored at will in the first half. Texas Tech marched down the field first, scoring on a Patrick Mahomes one-yard run with 9:48 remaining in the first period to give the Red Raiders the 7-0 lead, with the Clayton Hatfield PAT. Kansas State marched right back down on a seven-play, 66-yard drive. Jesse Ertz connected with Isaiah Zuber on a 12-yard pass, where Zuber dove and hit the pylon. Matthew McCrane’s extra point tied the game at seven. The Wildcats next score came on the defense. D.J. Reed stepped in front of a Mahomes pass, and returned it for a 35 yard pick-six to give the Cats a 14-7 lead with 4:19 remaining in the first quarter. The scoring for the quarter didn’t finish, as the Red Raiders would tie the game with a long pass. Mahomes hit Keke Coutee on a 61-yard pass with 2:38 remaining in the first period to tie the game at 14, with the Hatfield PAT.

K-State scored the first points of the second quarter in the first minute on a McCrane 20-yard field goal. That would begin the swapping of leads in the period. Mahomes scored two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter. His first came with 11:19 left in the second frame from 16 yards out to give Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) a 21-17 lead. Jesse Ertz would punch it in for the Wildcats from a yard out to give them a brief 24-21 lead. Mahomes’ third rushing touchdown of the half would briefly put the Red Raiders ahead 28-24 with 1:47  left before halftime. Kansas State would recapture the lead 16 seconds later. Byron Pringle took the ensuing kickoff and ran it back for a 99-yard touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 31-28 halftime lead. Pringle’s kickoff return marked the 12th straight year the Cats have returned a kickoff for a touchdown, which is the longest streak in the country.

Only three points were scored in the third quarter. A Clayton Hatfield 34-yard field goal tied the game at 31 heading into the final period. 

Kansas State (3-2, 2-1) took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter after stuffing the Red Raiders on fourth down. Charles Jones rushed it in from two yards out in the first minute of the period to give the Cats a 38-31 lead. The Wildcats would get two more field goals from Matthew McCrane, from 25 and 42 yards out, giving them a 44-31 lead with 1:56 left. Texas Tech didn’t quit, marching down the field quickly. With five seconds left, they pulled to within 44-38 on a Mahomes 15-yard pass to Cameron Batson in the back of the end zone. The Red Raiders then recovered the onside kick, and Mahomes was hit by Charmeachealle Moore from behind on the final pass attempt of the game, as time expired, and the Wildcats held on for the win.

Kansas State outgained by the Red Raiders 592-335. Jesse Ertz was 10-20 passing for 104 yards and a touchdown. Isaiah Zuber had three grabs for 35 yards and a touchdown, while Charles Jones rushed for 128 yards on 19 carries and a score, as the Wildcats tallied 231 yards on the ground.

Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes was 45-62 passing for 504 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Keke Coutee had five catches for 130 yards and a score. Demarcus Felton had 14 carries for 66 yards. 

Kansas State travels to Oklahoma for an 11 am kickoff on Saturday, while Texas Tech hosts West Virginia for an 11 am kickoff on Saturday as well. 

Coach Bill Snyder Postgame

Quarterback Jesse Ertz

Wide Receiver Byron Pringle

Wide Receiver Isaiah Zuber

Tackle Dalton Risner

Defensive End Jordan Willis

Linebacker Elijah Lee

Cornerback D.J. Reed

Cornerback Duke Shelley

Safety Dante Barnett