West Virginia falls 23-24 on the road against Kansas State
It seemed to be the year that WVU football would defeat Kansas State for the first time since joining the Big 12. The Mountaineers came out strong to begin the game, dominating the first half. Though the Kansas State defense was able to hold West Virginia to only one touchdown in the first half, the Skyler Howard-to-Jovon Durante 24-yard pass kept the Mountaineers competing on the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
It looked as though WVU football would get a little bit more help in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. Kansas State starting QB Joe Hubener ran for four-yards before going down with an injury, forcing Hubener to leave the game after completing only 6 of his 19-passes. With that, K-State was forced to put wide receiver Cody Cook in as their QB. What may have been game-ending for the Wildcats turned out to be a contributing factor to the eventual Mountaineer defeat. On his first play, Cook connected a pass with Kyle Klein, putting Kansas State at the West Virginia 12-yard line. three, short plays later, Cook ran the ball in for Kansas State’s first touchdown of the game.
Though the Mountaineers had out-gained the Wildcats 447-304, achieved 7 more first downs, and went into halftime leading by 10-points, the Kansas City special teams was able to wrap it up and defeat WVU football by a single point. Some of the struggle came with West Virginia’s passing game, with Howard only completing 19 of 42 attempts. The past four winds from WVU came from their strong running game. Jordan Thompson achieved the most catches (5) for 127-yards for West Virginia and Daikiel Shorts Jr. combined with Howard for seven catches and 68-yards. But it wasn’t enough to get the Mountaineers on a 5-game winning streak.
The good news? WVU football is still going to a bowl game! Your West Virginia Mountaineers will be meeting with Arizona State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl on January 2, 2016. Make sure your family is ready to cheer on your favorite team with gear from Mountaineer World under your Christmas tree this year!
Though the Mountaineers tried to make the most of their passing game on Saturday, Wendell Smallwood earns our game-day hero title once again. Smallwood has been the Mountaineers’ top running back all season and continued to show his leadership, technique, and skill on Saturday against the Wildcats.
Falling just behind Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington for the Big 12 rushing title, Smallwood ended his regular season with 1,447 yard – 8 points short of Washington. 141 yards of that total was earned in 25 carries against the Wildcats of Kansas State. In addition to his yardage, Smallwood was able to contribute a touchdown to his team after a 14-yard run into the end one in the third quarter. He was named Big-12 Offensive Co-Player of the Week.