Big 12 News

Avery Johnson Praises Will Howard Amidst Budding K-State QB Controversy

Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

The Kansas State Wildcats look like they have a quarterback controversy on their hands. Despite Will Howard leading the Cats to a Big 12 Championship last season, he has not met the expectations thus far this season.

Enter: True freshman Avery Johnson.

Johnson ended up taking the reins from Howard on Saturday night in a must-win game vs. Texas Tech and dominated on his way to five rushing touchdowns in a 38-21 win. Johnson’s five rushing touchdowns were the most by a FBS player this season and they were the most nationally by a true freshman since Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine in 2014.


After the win, Johnson said there was nothing but support between the two, saying, “He [Howard] told me a million times how proud of me he was… Tonight was my night, but at the end of the day he cares more about this team than anybody.”

Howard did not look like his old self, once again, on Saturday. He finished the game 6/9 for 86 yards and a QBR under 30, while adding three carries for zero yards. Meantime, Johnson finished the game 8/9 for 77 yards, and QBR of nearly 94, while rushing for 90 yards and five scores.

On the season, Howard has thrown nine touchdowns to seven interceptions, while completing 61% of his passes. He’s also rushed for 227 yards and six scores. Last season, Howard threw 15 touchdowns to just two interceptions.

After the game, head coach Chris Klieman did not say who would start in Week 8.


Kansas State is now 2-1 in Big 12 play heading into its home game against TCU next week. Both teams may have quarterback situations changing rapidly, although TCU’s is mostly driven by injury as Josh Hoover, who threw for over 400 yards, was impressive in a win over BYU on Saturday.

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