Wildcats move one game away to Arlington with win over West Virginia

Kansas State football head coach Chris Klieman leads the Wildcats onto the field in the Wildcat's 2019 matchup with West Virginia. (File photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Earning head coach Chris Klieman’s 100th career win with Kansas State, the Wildcats took down the West Virginia Mountaineers 48-31. The victory places K-State in position to play in the Big 12 Championship Game with one last win over the Kansas Jayhawks.

The game started off hot for K-State. The first drive took less than two minutes and finished with a 15-yard rushing touchdown from running back Deuce Vaughn. The touchdown was quickly followed up by a pick-six from safety Cincere Mason, pushing the lead to 14-0 with 12:36 left in the first quarter.

The Mountaineer backup quarterback Garrett Greene was given the start over starter JT Daniels and bounced back from his interception. Greene led the offense to a touchdown and was followed by his defense recording a pick-six on K-State quarterback Will Howard to put the score to 14-13 Wildcats.

The Wildcat offense recovered, scoring back-to-back touchdowns — including a 49-yard rushing touchdown from DJ Giddens — to take the lead 28-13. The offense continued on both sides in the first half as Greene hit wide receiver Sam Jones for his second and third touchdowns of the game while collecting 102 yards on his three catches, all going for touchdowns. Howard also hit tight end Ben Sinnott for a 15-yard touchdown — his third touchdown in the last two games.

The first half ended with a score of 41-25 but was followed by a low-scoring second half. Only two touchdowns were scored, as Howard threw a 43-yard touchdown to wide receiver Malik Knowles and Greene ran in his fourth touchdown of the game as the Wildcats won 48-31.

The shootout featured notable statistical games from multiple players. On the receiving side, Knowles caught six passes for 111 yards followed by Sinnott with three catches for 85 yards, with Howard throwing for a total of 294 yards. All were outdone by defensive end Brendon Mott who recorded eight total tackles and a career-high three sacks. 

The Wildcats take their record to 8-3 with a 6-2 record in-conference. In the season finale, K-State hosts the Jayhawks in the Sunflower Showdown at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

K-State will qualify for the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 3 in Arlington, Texas with either a win against the Jayhawks or with a Texas Longhorns loss against the Baylor Bears.