Kansas State beat Houston 41-0 yesterday in the first-ever meeting between the schools. With the win, the Wildcats are now bowl-eligible and tied for at least second in the Big 12. The victory also allowed for the team’s return to the AP Top 25 poll.
There’s not a lot to say about a game where Kansas State dominated every phase. The offense was efficient, and nearly perfect. Will Howard, playing nearly the entire game, was great through the air, going 15/17 for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 24 yards on the ground, and did not turn the ball over once. The rushing attack was not as explosive as in the TCU game, but DJ Giddens and Treshaun Ward still made their presece felt. Avery Johnson had an early hiccup and only got meaningful playing time late in the game, but did get his first career passing touchdown, a nice toss to Seth Porter, who finally got his richly deserved moment in the spotlight.
The defense was just stifling and actually perfect, pitching their second shutout of the season. In delivering nine straight quarters without a touchdown, this defense brought to mind some of the Kansas State units from the late 90s, bullying the opposing quarterback into mistakes and season-low production. Houston’s Donovan Smith, who trails only Dillon Gabriel as the league’s most productive quarterback, had a terrible day. Hurried, rushed, and ultimately sacked, he only tallied 88 yards off 13 completions. The Cougar rushing attack never really got untracked either, and in keeping everything in front of them all game long, the Wildcats showed the sort of poise and confidence lacking just a few weeks ago.
For Kansas State, this was also a cleanly played game. The Wildcats were penalized only once and that was just for 5 yards.
This is all great, but it’s also not very predictive of the Wildcats’ next game. Texas is not Houston, and although the Longhorns may still have a backup in at quarterback, the game will be in Austin, and Texas’ defense probably won’t be as out-of-sorts as Houston. It’s also worth noting that the Wildcats’ most eye-popping wins have come at home, and the team is 1-2 on the road so far this year. So throw some cold water on your expectations for now.
Next week’s game against Texas is effectively a Big 12 elimination game. There’s a lot on the line for both teams, and the outcome probably hinges on which program handles the big game spotlight better.
The football team was not the only squad in purple dominating its opponent this weekend. The VolleyCats first beat #8 BYU in straight sets (25-18, 25-16, 25-19) on Thursday for the program’s first 3-0 victory over a top 10 team in two decades. Then, on Friday, Kansas State topped that by doing it again, the Wildcats’ first-ever straights set sweep (two consecutive matches) of a top 10 team.
Next up, the team takes on #14 Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown in Lawrence. First serve is set for 6:30 PM on November 4.
Kansas State’s winning weekend continued at the White Sands Invitational in Bahamas, where the women’s golf team won their first team title under new head coach Stew Burke. The Wildcats shot a 9-over par 297 in the final round, seven shots ahead of the second place team. This was the team’s first title away from Manhattan since 2017. Senior Hayley Vargas also took individual honors at 1-over par 217 over 54 holes.
This was the last event for the team in the fall. The golfers will next see action in February in Puerto Rico.
In much less fun news, senior Nae’Qwan Tomlin was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and brawling at a sports bar in Aggieville. He was released on bond, and the team did not immediately offer comment on the incident.