🏈 Kansas Falls in Regular Season Finale at No. 12 K-State
MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Jayhawks dropped their final regular season game to the No. 12 ranked Kansas State Wildcats 47-27 on Saturday evening in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Running back Devin Neal rushed for two touchdowns and quarterback Jalon Daniels was 20-for-32 for 168 yards. Daniels also added 51 yards on the ground, including one touchdown.
Kansas State received the opening kickoff and was forced to punt after the KU defense made the Wildcats go 3 and out. Kansas muffed the punt on the 7-yard line and the ball was recovered by K-State at the 5-yard line.
On the next play, K-State’s Malik Knowles ran into the end zone to give K-State a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Kansas would respond right away on its first offensive possession. The Jayhawks marched 75 yards in nine plays over 5:16. A 12-yard rushing touchdown by running back Torry Locklin tied the game at 7-7 with 7:49 left in the first quarter.
K-State would regain the lead on the following possession. Quarterback Will Howard threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Sammy Wheeler to make the score 14-7.
A Kansas holding penalty in the end zone on the next drive would result in a safety and a 16-7 K-State advantage. On the ensuing possession, Malik Knowles ran for his second touchdown of the game from four yards out. K-State led 23-7 at the end of the first quarter.
KU would cut into the deficit with an 11-play, 75-yard that ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by Neal. Daniels had a 25-yard scramble on the drive to help move KU into K-State territory. The touchdown made the score 23-14 with 11:56 remaining in the first half.
After an 80-yard screen pass to running back Deuce Vaughn, Howard completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Phillip Brooks. K-State extended its lead to 30-14 with 9:09 remaining until the break.
The Kansas offense once again answered with a 75-yard drive in seven plays. A 33-yard pass from Daniels to wide receiver Luke Grimm moved the ball past midfield. Then, a pass interference penalty near the goal line set Kansas up at the three-yard line. Neal would punch it in from three yards out for his second touchdown of the evening, trimming the score to 30-21 with 4:57 remaining in the first half.
The scoring for both sides would slow down for the final five minutes of the half. Defensive end Lonnie Phelps had a strip sack and defensive tackle Caleb Sampson scooped up the fumble with 1:25 to go in the half. The Jayhawks were unable to do anything with the takeaway. K-State led 30-21 at halftime.
After a fumble by KU on its second offensive possession of the second half, K-State took over at the Kansas 38-yard line. K-State would turn that into a touchdown on a one-yard touchdown run by Vaughn. The score made it 37-21 with 6:59 to go in the third quarter.
Kansas responded on its next possession. The Jayhawks drove 75 yards over 16 plays that lasted 8:20. The drive ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Daniels. A failed two-point conversion made the score 37-27 with 13:39 remaining in the game.
Knowles would receive the kickoff for K-State and returned it 69 yards to the Kansas 31-yard line. K-State converted that into a 27-yard field goal to make the score 40-27. The Wildcats then added another touchdown late in the fourth quarter to push the score to 47-27.
Kansas will now wait to find out its bowl destination next Sunday, Dec. 4.