Missouri stuns Kansas State football with 61-yard game-winning field goal
Kansas State's defense struggled to locate Missouri's receivers, resulting in big gains for the Tigers. The Wildcats also faced offensive line issues.
In a closely contested game, the No. 15-ranked Kansas State football team found themselves tied at 27-27 with Missouri. The tie came after Chris Tennant's successful 26-yard field goal with 5:25 remaining in the game.
Missouri's quarterback, Brady Cook, had an impressive performance, completing 25 of his 35 passes for 356 yards. The team as a whole accumulated a total of 430 yards on offense. On the other side, K-State's Will Howard completed 25 of his 39 passes for 270 yards, leading his team to a total of 408 yards.
Despite the game ending in a tie, there were several key takeaways from the Wildcats' perspective. One notable aspect was the effectiveness of Kansas State's defense when they applied pressure on Brady Cook. However, there were instances where the secondary struggled to locate Missouri's receivers, resulting in big plays for the Tigers. Luther Burden's 47-yard post pattern touchdown and Mookie Cooper's 41-yard reception were examples of the secondary's lapses in coverage.
Fortunately, the Wildcats adjusted their coverage in the second half, leading to tighter defense. Nevertheless, Missouri still managed to make some significant gains due to Cook's accurate passing.
On the offensive side, Kansas State faced challenges in finding a suitable combination on the offensive line, particularly with the absence of right tackle Christian Duffie. Carver Willis initially started at right tackle but was replaced by Cooper Beebe early on, who transitioned from left guard. Taylor Poitier filled in at right guard. The main issue for the Wildcats was providing enough time for quarterback Will Howard to make downfield throws. Additionally, the team struggled to consistently rush the ball when Beebe moved from guard. Although Willis returned to right tackle in the second half, the Wildcats eagerly awaited Duffie's return.
Both teams encountered difficulties in the running game, which was expected given their strong defensive rankings. Kansas State entered the game as the top-ranked team nationally against the run, while Missouri was close behind at No. 7. In the first two weeks, neither team had allowed an opponent to surpass 100 rushing yards. In this particular game, K-State managed to accumulate 138 rushing yards, while Missouri only gained 74.
Overall, it was a disheartening loss for the Wildcats, but there were valuable lessons to be learned. The team will need to address their secondary's coverage issues and continue to work on finding a solid offensive line combination. With the return of Christian Duffie, they hope to improve their pass protection and rushing game. Despite the challenges faced, both teams displayed strong defensive performances, showcasing why they were highly ranked in stopping the run.
Arne Green, a sports journalist based in Salina, covers Kansas State University sports for the Gannett network. He can be contacted at [email protected] or found on Twitter at @arnegreen.