MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State’s chance for its first four-game winning streak since 2017 ended when No. 23 Texas converted a last-second field goal last week. The bowl-bound Wildcats try and bounce back Saturday when West Virginia in the midst of its first five-game losing streak since 2012 visits.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Kansas State -14.
Kansas State rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game, but Texas drove 67 yards on 13 plays before Cameron Dicker booted a 26-yard field goal. "We had a chance to go 2-0 on this road trip," Wildcats coach Chris Klieman said referring to a 38-10 road win over Kansas the previous week. "I'm disappointed that we didn't, but I told the guys, 'So, now what?' We have a lot to play for. I think we're a really good team that's getting better every week." Texas Tech scored touchdowns on its first five drives and rolled West Virginia 38-17 last week despite Austin Kendall throwing for 355 yards in three quarters. Kendall completed 26-of-43 passes but threw two interceptions before being replaced by Jarrett Doege, who completed 11-of-17 for 119 yards and a TD.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (3-6, 1-5 Big 12)
The Mountaineers allowed 354 yards passing to the Red Raiders, did not record a sack after posting eight in their previous game versus Baylor and committed four turnovers. “Some of the turnovers were because of missed assignments and missed opportunities in the red zone,” coach Neal Brown said. “To me, the game came down to turnovers and missed opportunities in the red zone.” Sam James caught a career-high 14 passes for 223 yards, but that easily could have been much more if not for a couple of drops and two long gainers that should have been touchdowns if he had caught them in stride.
ABOUT KANSAS STATE (6-3, 3-3)
Skylar Thompson, who finished with a career-high 253 passing yards on 17-of-27 and two touchdowns versus the Longhorns, passed for 217 yards in the first half - one yard shy of his previous career best for a game earlier this season against Baylor. Freshman Malik Knowles hauled in a 70-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter - the longest pass completion for the Wildcats in over two years - and Joshua Youngblood returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the second by the Wildcats this season after Knowles’ 100-yard return at Mississippi State. Due mostly to a run game that averages 198.8 yards per game - 122 yards more than West Virginia averages - Kansas State enters the week fifth nationally in time of possession at 34:26.
1. The Mountaineers have won three straight in the series, winning 28-23 in Manhattan two years ago, allowing a season-low 332 yards and 14 first downs.
2. Kansas State's defense enters the week ranked highly in many statistical categories, including third-down defense (third; 26 percent) and first downs allowed (17th; 152). It has given up just five passing TDs this season, tied with Ohio State for the fewest nationally.
3. The Wildcats’ 35-6 loss at West Virginia last season was its worst road defeat since 2009.
PREDICTION: Kansas State 37, West Virginia 20