Kansas State football vs. West Virginia: Wildcats finish strong for fourth straight win, 34-17
MANHATTAN — Kansas State jumped out to an early lead, withstood a West Virginia second-half rally and pulled away late Saturday for a 34-17 victory over the Mountaineers.
It was the fourth straight win for the Wildcats, who improved to 7-3 overall, 4-3 in the Big 12.
Defense seals the deal
Felix Anudike-Uzomah forces a fumble by West Virginia's Leddie Brown and recovers at the West Virginia 35. The Wildcats turn it into a 25-yard Chris Tennant field goal to go up 34-17 with 1:59 left.
Wildcats' gamble pays off
After West Virginia cut the lead to a seven, 24-17, on a 3-yard fourth-down touchdown pass from Jarret Doege with 11:50 left, Kansas State came up even bigger on fourth down when Skylar Thompson threaded the needle to Sammy Wheeler down the middle for 35 yards to the Mountaineer 4.
Deuce Vaughn scores on the next play and the Wildcats stop West Virginia's momentum to lead 31-17 with 7:22 left.
Kansas State takes a 24-10 lead to the fourth quarter
Kansas State and West Virginia each scored on its first possession of the second half and the Wildcats led 24-10 after three quarters.
K-State used Malik Knowles' 64-yard return of the second-half kickoff to set up a 33-yard scoring drive. Skylar Thompson found tight end Sammy Wheeler on third down from the 4-yard line to put the Wildcats up 24-3.
But West Virginia answered with a 10-play, 68 yard drive and 13-yard touchdown pass from Jarret Doege to Reese Smith. The Mountaineers kept the drive alive on a fourth-down completion from Doege to Kaden Prather at the Wildcat 12.
K-State had its next drive end on a missed 26-yard field goal by Chris Tennant.
K-State leads 17-3 at the half
A 39-yard Casey Legg gets West Virginia on the board with 48 seconds left in the half, but Kansas State still takes a 17-3 lead to the locker room.
Kansas State took advantage of a short field to extend its lead to 17-0 on Chris Tennant's 32-yard field goal with 2:57 left in the half.
A Ty Zentner punt pinned West Virginia at its own 5-yard line and the Wildcats got a three-and-out. The ensuing punt put K-State in excellent field position at the Mountaineer 32, and they drove to the 14 before the drive stalled, leading to the field goal.
West Virginia outgained K-State in the half, 182 yards to 119, but the Wildcats scored 14 first-quarter points off and interception and Ty Bowman's blocked punt and Marvin Martin's 7-yard touchdown return.
Skylar Thompson was 6 of 10 passing for just 41 yards. He had an interception negated by a roughing-the-passer call and another near pick. The Wildcats had 78 yards on the ground, with Deuce Vaughn picking up 46 yards on 12 carries.
For West Virginia, Jarret Doege was 13 of 24 passing for 129 yards and Leddie Brown rushed 12 times for 59 yards.
Another stop for the Wildcats
West Virginia drives to the K-State 30, where Jahron McPherson breaks up a pass on third down and 3, and Casey Legg misses the 47-yard field goal attempt wide to the right.
K-State takes over at its 30 with 10:27 left in the half, leading 14-0.
Kansas State up 14-0 after one quarter
Kansas State comes up with another stop, this time a 9-yard sack by Eli Huggins on fourth down.
K-State leads West Virginia as the first quarter ends, 14-0.
Special teams join the party for K-State
Ty Bowman with the blocked punt and Marvin Martin scoops and scores from 7 yards out to extend Kansas State's lead to 14-0 with 3:46 left in the opening quarter.
A pick and a touchdown for K-State
Kansas State gets off to a fast start, thanks to an interception and an efficient six-play, 55-yard drive capped by a 2-yard Joe Ervin touchdown run.
Russ Yeast got the pick on a ball off the hands of West Virginia receiver Winston Wright and the Wildcats marched 55 yards in six plays. Ervin set up his own score with a 22-yard burst up the middle. Deuce Vaughn had three carries for 27 yards on the drive.
West Virginia to start with the ball
West Virginia won the coin toss and elected to receive. K-State will kick off and presumably get the ball to start the second half.
A beautiful day for football
The weather conditions as kickoff approaches in Manhattan: 36 degrees, sunny skies and a southerly wind at 4 mph.