DieHards is counting down each Big 12 team’s best moment from the 2017 college football season, whether fun, momentous or disastrous. Next up is Kansas State.
Kansas State got off to a brutal start in 2017. The Wildcats lost to a bad Vanderbilt team early and followed it up by losing three of four games to start Big 12 play. Their only win was over a hapless Baylor squad.
Starting quarterback Jesse Ertz got hurt in a double-overtime loss to Texas. Backup Alex Delton led the Wildcats to a 2-3 record in Big 12 games, but then he got hurt, too. That left freshman Skylar Thompson to take snaps.
Thompson struggled in his first game against West Virginia, getting picked off twice in a 5-point loss. With two games left – against ranked Oklahoma State and Iowa State – the Wildcats looked sure to miss a bowl game.
Kansas State traveled to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State on Nov. 18. It was a huge game featuring two Oklahoma State seniors who will compete to be first-round NFL draft picks. Kansas State was a 20-point underdog.
It took one drive for the tide to change.
Kansas State engineered a precise drive for 10 plays and 71 yards. Thompson ran 65 yards on the drive, including a 5-yard touchdown.
Oklahoma State is one of the highest-powered offenses in America, so the Cowboys struck back quickly. Mason Rudolph led a touchdown drive and a field-goal drive to give the Cowboys a 10-7 first-quarter lead. Then the second quarter started.
Kansas State had three drives in the second quarter. One ended in a three-and-out. The other two ended with a 47-yard Byron Pringle touchdown reception and a 39-yard Alex Barnes touchdown run. Pringle added a kick return for touchdown to give the Wildcats a 28-13 lead at halftime.
After a punt to open the second half, Kansas State blew down the field for a pair of touchdowns – a 46-yard score and 60-yard score, both on Pringle receptions. One field goal later, Kansas State had a dominant 45-20 lead over the Cowboys. Oklahoma State made a furious comeback to cut it to 45-40, but the defense held for a turnover on downs at the end.
The win ensured Bill Snyder’s historic bowl streak continued for another year. Kansas State also found its new starting quarterback heading forward. Thompson also led a 20-19 win over Iowa State a week later.
Make sure and keep tuned to DieHards for the best moment for each remaining Big 12 team in the coming days.
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