K-State's dreams of an appearance in the college football playoff came to an end with a 41-20 loss to Texas Christian.
After forcing a punt on TCU's first drive, the Wildcats yielded two touchdowns before the first quarter ended. When K-State got the ball back, trailing 14-0, the Wildcats threw two incomplete passes and looked headed for another punt.
But Tyler Lockett beat press coverage on third and 10, and Jake Waters found him for a 70-yard score. It looked like the Wildcats were back in the game.
Unfortunately, that would be about the only highlight of the night for K-State.
The Horned Frogs only mustered another three points before half, and K-State had to consider itself lucky to head to the locker room down only 17-7. The Wildcats were outgained 255-133 in the first half and did nothing on offense outside the long completion.
In the third quarter, it was more of the same for the teams traded scores initially to give TCU a 24-14 lead. But from that point on, pretty much nothing went right for K-State. The Horned Frogs scored 17 straight points to take a 41-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
K-State was never able to get anything going on the ground, finishing the game with 34 rushing yards on 19 carries (1.8 yards per carry). Meanwhile, the K-State defense had its worst performance of the season, yielding 535 total yards, including 334 rushing yards on 7.0 yards per carry. Waters' final numbers didn't look terrible - 20-37-1, 291 yards, two touchdowns, 7.9 yards per attempt - but TCU had him on the run all night.
Congratulations go out to Lockett, who moved past his father, Kevin Lockett, as K-State's all-time leading receiver by yardage with a 30-yard reception in the fourth quarter. The milestone was one of the few bright spots on the evening, and a well-deserved honor for the young man.
With the loss, K-State is now 5-1 in Big 12 Conference play. Baylor annihilated Oklahoma in Norman earlier in the day, so K-State, Texas Christian and Baylor sit atop the conference standings. The Wildcats take next weekend off before traveling to Morgantown for a Thursday-night tilt with the West Virginia Mountaineers. Baylor also takes next weekend off before returning home for a payback game against Oklahoma State. Texas Christian travels to Lawrence next week to face KU.