Coming off a huge upset win against Oklahoma, nobody knew what to expect from Kansas State this weekend. They came into the day still feeling great from their win on the road against the Sooners (just the program’s second ever on the road over a Top 3 team in the AP Poll) while their opponent, Texas Tech, was coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to Texas.
Head-to-head, Kansas State has won eight out of the last nine against Texas Tech, and this game was being played in Manhattan, Kansas, which is a place that the Red Raiders have not won since 2008.
Both teams play a different style of football, as Tech’s air-it-out attitude is a strange thing to watch as Kansas State loves to run the football and slow everything down. Well, today was one of those days where you could throw everything out the window because both starting quarterbacks went down in the first half of the game.
The Wildcats would capitalize early off a blocked punt as quarterback Skylar Thompson found Briley Moore for a 12-yard score to put the Cats up 7-0 in the first quarter.
But on the next series for Texas Tech, disaster struck as Kansas State’s Khalid Duke hit Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman low and late which would take Alan Bowman out of the game.
In the second quarter, Kansas State would put together a beautiful 13-play, 97-yard drive that ended with freshman running back Deuce Vaughn running in a score from 18 yards out to put Kansas State up 14-0. However, during that drive, Tech linebacker Riko Jeffers hit Skylar Thompson after he threw the football and after the hit, Skylar Thompson was done for the day due to injury and Jeffers was ejected from the game.
With backup quarterback Henry Columbi in for Texas Tech, the offense would move into field goal range, but came away with nothing as kicker Trey Wolff missed a 35-yard field goal. The half would end with Kansas State up 14-0.
But something felt different in the second half as the offense finally got going for Texas Tech and quarterback Henry Columbi as the Red Raiders scored three-straight touchdowns to open the second half. Henry Columbi started by tossing a touchdown to KeSean Carter to get Tech on the board before running back Xavier White would take handoff 49-yards to the house. And after a Kansas State field goal in the third quarter, Tech would respond yet again with another touchdown from Henry Columbi to Miles Price to give the Red Raiders a 21-17 lead with 11:11 left to play.
And just as quickly as Tech found their mojo on offense, Kansas State would do the same. In just three plays after Tech’s last score, Harry Trotter would score on a three-yard run to give the Wildcats the lead again at 24-21 with ten minutes to play.
Kansas State would then seal the deal just a possession later as Will Howard would find Duece Vaughn for a 70-yard score to give Kansas State a ten-point lead with 2:07 left on the clock. The Wildcat defense would make the final stop to secure the 31-21 win.
Of course, nobody would have thought that this would have been a battle of the backups in Manhattan, but in the year 2020, anything is possible. Who in the world would have thought that Texas Tech would outrush Kansas State 202 to 198 and lose? Not me. And I also did not expect for both teams to combine for 875 yards of offense. The biggest question will be how long will Skylar Thompson and Alan Bowman be out? Both backups played better as the game went on, but it would be hard for me to see either team to be in the mix come November without their starting quarterbacks. Yes, Kansas State won, but at what cost?
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