Kansas State football defeats Kansas in Sunflower Showdown
Kansas State defeats Kansas in 15th straight Sunflower Showdown victory. Wildcats preserve lead with late interception, blocking extra point.
The Wildcats (8-3, 6-2 Big 12) managed to maintain their lead in the game against KU, with Marques Sigle intercepting KU's fourth-down pass in the end zone with 5:33 left, allowing them to run out the clock and secure the win. KU fell to 7-4, 4-4 in the league.
Here are three key points to take away from the Wildcats' 15th consecutive Sunflower Showdown victory.
K-State was able to navigate through some tough situations and create their own opportunities to defeat a determined Kansas team.
The Wildcats' second touchdown, putting them up 16-13, came after Will Howard threw an incomplete pass on fourth down, but was given another chance when KU was called for defensive holding.
Additionally, Nate Matlack's block of a KU extra point and Keenan Garber's 91-yard return for two K-State points added to the team's success.
A missed interception by KU gave K-State an opportunity to go on an 87-yard drive, cutting the Jayhawk lead to 27-24.
In the first half, Kansas demonstrated strong ball control offense, eating up 19 minutes and 50 seconds. They had scoring drives of 7 minutes and 6:10, with another taking 4:28 for a total of 17:38.
The Jayhawks also had 144 rushing yards in the first half, and Cole Ballard's 59-yard pass to tight end Mason Fairchild, followed by a 2-yard run by Devin Neal, added to their lead.
K-State started the game with a 75-yard touchdown drive, a pattern that has been consistent throughout the season. They have scored eight touchdowns and one field goal on their opening possessions, with the only exceptions being in losses at Oklahoma State and Texas.
Arne Green, who covers Kansas State University sports for the Gannett network, is based in Salina and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @arnegreen.