June 22, 2024

Wildcats hold off TCU for first Big 12 win

Manhattan, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Sometimes when you are needing to snap a losing streak, it’s tough to find a win. That’s what was laid in front of Kansas State Saturday afternoon, as they hosted the TCU Horned Frogs in a Big 12 game. Tied at 17, the Wildcats would score with 2:45 on a Skylar Thompson three-yard run, and the defense would finish things off to give coach Chris Kleiman his first Big 12 victory over the Horned Frogs 24-17 in front of 48,298 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

K-State would strike first, thanks to a blocked punt, that provided a short field. With 9:56 left in the opening quarter, Skylar Thompson would connect with a wide open Nick Lenners from 21 yards out to give the Cats an early 7-0 lead with the Blake Lynch PAT. It would be the first tight end touchdown since 2014. 

TCU would tie the game up early in the second quarter. A four-minute, 50-second drive was finished up on an eight-yard run by Sewo Olonilua with 13:43 left in the first half. The Jonathan Song extra point kick tied the game at seven. With 5:30 left in the second period, the Wildcats retook the lead on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Wykeen Gill gave them a 14-7 lead, that capped off a 74-yard drive. The Horned Frogs would pull to within 14-10 with 33 seconds left before halftime on a 36-yard Song field goal.

Kansas State extended their lead on the opening drive of the second half. Blake Lynch connected on a 21-yard field goal with 11:30 remaining in the field goal to extend their lead to 17-10. TCU would quickly strike back, on a 46 yard touchdown run by quarterback Max Duggan with 8:42 left in the third quarter, and Song’s PAT tied the game at 17. Duggan broke several tackles on his way to the end zone. 

The Wildcats would put together their longest drive of the season in the fourth quarter. Pinned at their own five yard line, K-State would drive the field for the go ahead score. Thompson’s three-yard run with 2:45 left put them up 24-17 with the Lynch PAT. Thompson had a 61-yard run, and scrambled for a first down on fourth down on the drive. 

K-State’s defense stiffened and forced a turnover on downs, and other than one play, the Wildcats were able to run the clock out and snap a two-game losing streak to the Horned Frogs.

Skylar Thompson was 11-23 for 172 with two touchdowns, and added 68 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Malik Knowles had three catches for 48 yards. Kansas State finished with 266 yards, with 172 through the air.

Maxx Duggan was 16-29 passing for 132 yards. He also rushed for 115 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown. TCU finished with 366 yards, with 228 on the ground.

Kansas State is 4-2 overall, 1-2 in the Big 12, and will host Oklahoma on Saturday. TCU drops to 3-3 overall, 1-2 in conference play, and will host Texas on Saturday.

Head Coach Chris Kleiman

Quarterback Skylar Thompson

Wide Receiver Wykeen Gill

Wide Receiver Malik Knowles

Tight End Nick Lenners

Defensive Tackle Jordan Mittie

Defensive Back Jonathan Durham

Safety Denzel Goolsby

Punter Devin Anctil