State edged by No. 23 West Virginia 28-23

Annette Crawford
November 12, 2017

That next win could come against West Virginia.

After holding Iowa State to 350 yards last week, the Mountaineers yielded 332 on Saturday.

On third-and-10, quarterback Will Grier scrambled as the pocket collapsed and eventually found Gary Jennings deep downfield.

Will Grier led the Mountaineers with 372 passing yards and four touchdowns.

The Wildcats added a touchdown late in the second quarter, but wouldn't get the last points of the half.

The two teams would exchange punts to start off the second half.

After one half, West Virginia outgained Kansas State 340-192 in total yards and held the Wildcats to just 70 passing yards. Dalvin Warmack gained 43 yards on the ground on the drive, and Winston Dimel punched it in from the 1-yard line. But he struggled to get anything going in the second half.

K-State forced a third turnover on West Virginia's next drive, but another K-State three-and-out gave the ball back to WVU. Given the leg strength of kicker Matthew McCrane, they only needed to gain about 25 yards to reach field-goal range. An odd choice made even stranger by the fact that West Virginia defensive lineman Ezekial Rose jumped in front of the ball for an interception.

The Wildcats come in off a 42-35 overtime win at Texas Tech that was highlighted by the play of third-string redshirt freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson who came off the bench to complete 5-of-8 passes for 96 yards, score on a one-yard run at the end of regulation to force OT, and completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Byron Pringle to win it. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he would wait until later in the week to name his starting quarterback which could be starter Jesse Ertz, who has missed four games with a knee injury and is listed as questionable.

Instead of going into halftime ahead 23-21, the Wildcats trailed 28-20.

But the end of the first half couldn't have turned out more wrong for K-State, which appeared to be running out the clock.

K-State defensive back D.J. Reed was responsible for two of the turnovers.

Despite losing the turnover battle 4-2, Kansas State failed to capitalize on West Virginia's turnovers, scoring just three points off of them to West Virginia's seven. On the other, he stripped the ball away from West Virginia receiver David Sills for a fumble.

Problem was, the Mountaineers shredded the Wildcats when they weren't turning the ball over.

The floodgates then opened, as Grier hit Sills on a crossing pattern for a 16-yard score to extend the lead to 14-6.

K-State was too often unable to take advantage of excellent field position and turnovers, settling for three field goals on four attempts and a pair of short Dimel touchdown runs.

What remains for the Wildcats: bowl eligibility and the opportunity to finish with a winning record, qualities that are expected in Manhattan. They didn't play well enough in the second half to overcome a game-changing swing.

Despite West Virginia's offense not being very effective for most of the second half, the Mountaineer defense was able to get enough stops, and the offense ran out the clock with a lengthy drive to secure the victory.

West Virginia redshirt junior quarterback Will Grier finished 27-of-46 for 372 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

RECEIVING-West Virginia, Jennings 13-115, Ka.White 8-168, D.Sills 4-63, Simms 2-26.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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