Al’s Corner: Recap and reaction to last-second Kansas State win

The Kansas State Wildcats celebrate thier victory over the Iowa State Cyclones at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kan. on Nov. 25, 2017. The Wildcats won 20 to 19. (Photo by Cooper Kinley | Kansas State Athletics/ Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Wildcats hosted the Iowa State Cyclones at home in Bill Snyder Family Stadium, where they won in the last 10 seconds of the game, 20-19.

The Wildcats record for the year is now 7-5 and they are bowl eligible for the eighth year in a row. For the second game in a row, the opposing team was picked to win over the Wildcats.

QUARTERBACKS

Freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson threw for 152 yards today, with the longest pass being 25 yards. Thompson was only sacked once using the game and threw one touchdown pass to sophomore Isaiah Zuber, which won the game for the Wildcats.

Senior quarterback Kyle Kempt threw 264 yards for the Cyclones, with the longest pass being 34 yards. Kempt threw two touchdown passes and was sacked twice during the game. Kempt’s touchdown passes came out in the third and fourth quarter. One pass went over to senior Marchie Murdock for nine yards in the third quarter, while the second one went to sophomore Hakeem Butler for three yards.

RUSHING

Four Wildcats were able to rake in numbers, with junior Dalvin Warmack leading the group with 42 yards. Following behind Warmack was junior Justin Silmon with 32 yards, sophomore Alex Barnes with 23 yards and Thompson with 12 yards. The Wildcats finished with a total of 109 yards for rushing.

Six Cyclones brought in a total of 115 yards for rushing, with sophomore Sheldon Croney leading with 63 yards. Following Croney was junior Mike Warren with 17 yards, sophomore David Montgomery with 14 yards, Kempt with 11 yards, senior Joel Lanning with nine yards, and senior Trever Ryen with one yard.

RECEIVING

Zuber led the pack for the Wildcats, where he received 56 yards and one touchdown. Following Zuber was junior Dominique Heath with 23 yards, junior Zach Reuter with 38 yards, junior Winston Dimel with seven yards and one touchdown, Warmack with 24 yards and Barnes with seven yards. The Wildcats received for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior Allen Lazard led the Cyclones with 95 receiving yards, with sophomore Keonate Jones following with 43 yards. Murdock came behind with 37 yards and one touchdown, Ryen with 36 yards, Butler with 23 yards and one touchdown, Croney with 15 yards, junior Matthew Eaton with nine yards and Montgomery with six yards. The Cyclones received for 264 yards and two touchdowns.

HIGHLIGHTS

Thompson stepped up this game once again, where he entered the game with poise and passion as he led K-State to another victory. In the last minute of the game, Thompson led the team down the field showing his potential yet again to get the job done. In the last ten seconds of the game, he threw a one yard pass to Zuber that sealed a Wildcat victory.

During the post game press conference, Thompson talked about the game winning play.

“I do not remember much to be honest, because it happened so quick,” Thompson said. “It was an incredible moment. I had a good idea of what coverage they were running. Pre-snap I was determined to go to Isaiah Zuber and they kind of jammed him up, so I came off it and scrambled, just trying to keep the play alive. I was literally just thinking about tucking and running it. As soon as I do that I see number seven wide open and gave him a ball to catch.”

Zuber also talked about the game winning play and what he thought about it.

“We just wanted it more,” said Zuber. “That is all I can say. We just knew that we had to get this drive and win the ball game. The defense got a big stop for us. We all talked right before we got onto the field that we were going to make a play.”

Head coach Bill Snyder also talked about the game winning play and what it meant to him.

“That’s one of the things we spent some time on this week,” said Snyder. “Defensively they play a scheme. They weren’t in it on the goal line down there but normally they play a scheme that covers well. Rush three, drop eight; (it’s) hard to find open areas. The pass rush is less, so the quarterback has a little bit more time and people have to find open areas to go. But that’s what Isaiah did. It wasn’t what we had been working on out on the field, but it helps us down there. He kept it alive, and Thompson kept it alive, and Isaiah and the rest of the receivers – (Zuber) wasn’t the only one that continued to work. We just don’t sit down and let yourself be covered.”

Barnes and Dimel were able to get a trick play done successfully today, where Barnes threw a three yard pass to Dimel in the fourth quarter. The reaction from the crowd was huge, as it was one of the first trick plays they have seen all year.

Barnes talked about the trick play, saying there was no difference for him.

“I honestly didn’t notice a difference,” said Barnes. “It was pretty neat. It’s always special to score a touchdown.”

REACTION

During the first three quarters, I honestly did not expect that much. It was a rather slow-feeling game, until the second half rolled around. When the “assistant” for K-State received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, I knew it was about to get interesting. Defensively, we held tight when we needed to and brought the team together.

Offensively, there were huge improvements at the end of the game. Snyder said they didn’t throw the ball much in the first half so “you would have something to talk about,” but in the second half, Thompson stepped up and threw the ball more.

The last five minutes of the quarter showed a lot. It showed that Thompson still has his killer arm from the scout team and that the team can come together and become one to get that victory. The amount of pressure the offense was under in the last minute of the game was insane, but I truly do think it brought the best out of the team. K-State came to play once again today and showed that they are indeed, bowl bound.

K-State will learn its bowl designation and opponent Dec. 3. The bowls the Wildcats could go to range from the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., the Cactus Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz., the Heart of Dallas bowl in Dallas, Tex., the Texas Bowl in Houston, Tex., the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Flo. and the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Tex.

The Wildcats are rumored to be top contenders for the Liberty Bowl, the Cactus Bowl or the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

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Source: K-State Collegian

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