Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters threw for a career-high 400 yards in a win over West Virginia in Morgantown on Thursday night.
Heading into the game the Mountaineers were coming off two consecutive losses courtesy of TCU and Texas. The Wildcats had the previous week off, but were coming off a loss to TCU back on Nov. 8.
Waters completed 22 of 34 passes. A K-State team that usually has success on the ground only managed one rushing yard on the night. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett caught 10 passes for 196 yards.
After a promising start to the season the Mountaineers have now lost three straight. Turnovers were a key factor in the loss as they committed four on Thursday night.
West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett left the game with an injury, which forced the Mountaineers to bring in Skyler Howard. Howard provided a much needed spark for the West Virginia offense throwing for two touchdown passes.
Just before the half Lockett returned a punt 43 yards that put K-State ahead 17-3. The punt was a line drive kick from West Virginia punter Nick O’Toole that brought Lockett to the left side of the field where he scored untouched.
Howard found success right off the bench with the Mountaineers, leading his team down the field and capping off the drive with a 7-yard TD pass to Kevin White. The drive narrowed the Wildcats’ lead to 23-10 at the halfway point in the third quarter.
On the next West Virginia possession Howard constructed a long 17-play drive, but it was ended when the Mountaineers turned the ball over on downs.
The Wildcats went on to miss a 22-yard field goal and West Virginia responded with a 53-yard TD pass to Mario Alford. With that score the Mountaineers inched closer, making it 23-17 with 7 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Needing to score to make it a two possession game, Jake Waters led the Wildcats down the field which set up a field goal for Matthew McCrane.
West Virginia answered right back with a field goal of their own with 53 seconds left in the game. The Mountaineers attempted an onside kick that was recovered by the Wildcats.
Waters led the Wildcats to their eighth win of the season as the offensive line provided solid protection. K-State proved that its passing game can be successful when the run game struggles.
With two games remaining the Wildcats find themselves in contention for the Big 12 title. Next week the Cats will host Kansas before traveling to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears.