Five takeaways in blowout win against Houston Cougars

Wide receiver Phillip Brooks leaps up for a contested catch against Houston in a 41-0 shutout. The catch gave Brooks 40 of his 83 receiving yards as he also caught a touchdown on the day. (Julia Smith | Collegian Media Group)

Takeaway #1: Will Howard took over at quarterback

After two weeks of quarterback-by-committee, Will Howard seemed to regain his control on the position. The senior played all but two plays in the first half and starred. With only one incompletion, Howard threw for 155 and two touchdowns as K-State went up 28-0 at the break.

Freshman quarterback Avery Johnson’s one drive outside of the fourth quarter ended with a fumble off a failed handoff. Howard came back in after the fumble and led his third straight drive for a touchdown. Assuming the trend continues, Howard looks to be the main catalyst under center in a monumental game against Texas next Saturday.

Takeaway #2: Houston suffocated by the K-State defense

The true star of the day may have been the defense as a collective. Houston’s offense continuously struggled to move the ball all game. The unit dominated the most in the first half, allowing only 83 yards on 3.3 yards per play. 

Houston quarterback struggled to find anyone, throwing for only 88 yards; a big drop off from throwing for 631 yards and seven touchdowns in his two previous games. The consistent Cougar offense all season found no room against a rising K-State defense, being shutout for the first time this season.

Takeaway #3: K-State playing its best football ahead of major matchup

The Wildcats late season aspirations once seemed to be in question. Not any more. After falling to Oklahoma State, the Wildcats have taken down Texas Tech, TCU and Houston in dominant fashion. With the defense and rushing game leading the way, K-State has a recipe to win big games.

K-States heads to Austin next Saturday to face Texas in what may be the biggest game of the year. Texas’ starting quarterback Quinn Ewers being injured opens up the Wildcats’ chances to pull off a road upset. Things may be going K-State’s way in a chance to make another Big 12 Championship game.

Takeaway #4: Beebe shows offensive linemen can have highlight reel plays

Offensive linemen can make highlights too! Star guard Cooper Beebe definitely showed that in the first half. On a DJ Giddens touchdown, Beebe found himself lined up with a Cougar defensive back and didn’t waste the opportunity. The future NFL lineman sent the Houston defender to the ground. The highlight took over K-State twitter and shows what Beebe is capable of as the leader of the offensive line.

Takeaway #5: Phillip Brooks has nice game

Sixth-year wide receiver Phillip Brooks had one of his best games of the season. Brooks brought in 83 yards and a touchdown on the day. His best play came off a 40-yard connection with Howard on a post in the first half. With a consistent rotation at wide receiver for much of the season, Brooks continues to have a steady role, recording 40 or more yards in all but one game.