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Sunflower Smackdown

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Kansas State brings home the Governor’s Cup. Again.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Kansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Meet the new champ, same as the old champ. Kansas State beat Kansas 38-10 to take the Governor’s Cup for the 11th consecutive time. That equals Kansas State’s longest streak in this series.

This win made Chris Klieman the first Kansas State head coach to win his inaugural game against Kansas since Stan Parrish accomplished the feat way back in 1986. Klieman is now one of just seven coaches in school history to win the big rivalry game on his first try. Of course, Klieman’s Wildcats are already well ahead of Parrish’s first batch, because yesterday’s win also secured bowl eligibility for Kansas State (Nathan Enserro, K-State Collegian).

For all the intrigue and buildup this game had before kickoff, much of it was over by about halftime. Despite only being ahead 17-3 at that point, the Wildcats’ defense—for once both sound and stifling—had pretty much made the actual score academic, and with the offense and Skylar Thompson running all over the Jayhawks, the outcome of the game never seemed in doubt, as detailed in Jon Morse’s recap: K-State 38, Kansas 10.

Les Miles provided a bit of pre-game bulletin board material with “Who is K-State?” The answer was delivered emphatically by the Wildcats, proving that—at least for the moment—Kansas State is the premier program and the benchmark for a struggling program like Kansas. (Vahe Gregorian, Wichita Eagle (paywall)).

The Wildcats used their rivals’ trash talk as extra motivation and showed up determined to control the game from start to finish. The team did pretty much just that, holding Kansas to three points for much of the game until the Jayhawks scored a meaningless touchdown in the waning seconds of the contest (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).

Kansas State delivered a good ol’ fashioned road grading to Kansas, racking up 342 yards on the ground even without the services of James Gilbert (who did not play) and Jordon Brown (who only carried the ball twice). Much of this running came from Skylar Thompson who had 127 yards on the ground, and and only had 16 passing attempts because he didn’t really need to throw. This came on a day when the defense held Kansas to just 61 sack-adjusted yards and pretty much took star running back Pooka Williams out of the game (Greg Woods, Manhattan Mercury).

If this felt like business as usual for the purple-clad, that was certainly not the case for Kansas. The Jayhawks were completely blindsided, with Carter Stanley admitting afterwards he “never in a million years saw that result coming,” and receiver Andrew Parchment saying “they just came out and beat our ——, there ain’t nothing else to say.” (Benton Smith, Lawrence Journal-World).

The Wildcats have already turned the page and moved on to preparations for next week’s game against Texas. For the Jayhawks, picking up might take a bit longer, but the realization that the Sunflower Showdown is not “just another game” needs to sink in if Kansas is going to make its mark on the rivalry (Matt Tait, Journal-World).

Golf

In the Battle at the Beach in San Jose Del Cabo in Mexico, the women’s golf team remains at the 13th place after two rounds. But the Wildcats did cut 10 shots off their score and had a team-leading 1-over-73 performance from Niamh McSherry.

Things are not going that well today in the final round. Through 13 holes, the Wildcats are +4 and have dropped down to 15th place.

Volleyball

Kansas State’s run of victory continued as the VolleyCats beat TCU at Ahearn Field House in five sets (25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 17-25, 15-7) to sweep the series against the Frogs. The team ran off the last nine points of the match to get the win, with Peyton Williams delivering three blocks and Anna Dixon getting her 11th kill of the evening over that span.

Up next, Kansas State hosts Iowa State on Tuesday at 6:30 PM.

Track

At the Big 12 Championships in Waco, Texas, the cross country team notched a pair of Top 25 finishes. Jaybe Shufelberger finished 14th overall in the 6K race. That’s the highest finish by a Wildcat in conference competition since Morgan Wedekind’s finished 10th at the Big 12 Championships in 2015. The women’s team scored a total of 214 points and finished the meet in eighth place.

On the men’s side, Jackson Schroeder finished 22nd overall in the 8K race and posted the best time by a men’s cross country runner since 2004. The men’s team totaled 150 points, good for a sixth place finish.

Up next, the Wildcats will head to the NCAA Midwest Regionals in Stillwater on November 15.