Photo: Charlie Riedel, AP
Kansas State was able to send their seniors off with a 24 -23 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers Saturday. It what was a sloppy game for West Virginia marred with penalties, missed opportunities, and dropped passes.
West Virginia opened the scoring with a 45 yard field goal by Josh Lambert. Kansas State knotted it back up with a 40 yard field goal of its own three possessions later. West Virginia extended their lead to 10-3 on a 24 yard touchdown pass from Skyler Howard to the freshman Jovon Durante. The West Virginia defense looked stout in the first half by holding KSU to only three points and forcing two turnovers. At the end of the first half the Mountaineer offense marched down inside the five yard line of Kansas State but had to settle for a 19 yard Josh Lambert field goal.
In the second half Kansas State immediately seized the momentum with a 67 yard kickoff return from Morgan Burns. Five plays later KSU back-up quarterback Kody Cook took it in from the one to make the score 13-10.
On its next possession West Virginia went three and out. From there Kansas State took the lead with a 77 yard touchdown strike from Kody Cook to Deante Burton. After trading punts West Virginia was able to piece together a nice eight play 61 yard drive which was capped by a 14 yard Wendell Smallwood touchdown run. This put West Virginia back up 20-17 late in the third quarter.
West Virginia extended its lead to 23-17 early in the 4th quarter on a 28 yard field goal by Josh Lambert. However on the ensuing kickoff West Virginia was victimized by Morgan Burns again. This time in the form of a 97 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
West Virginia was able to get four more possessions before time expired but could not come away with any points in what has to be a frustrating loss for coach Dana Holgersen. One bright spot in the contest was once again Wendell Smallwood. Smallwood rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries, just nine yards short of the Big 12 regular season rushing record.
Since joining the Big 12 in 2012 West Virginia has not beaten Kansas State. With the regular season now complete West Virginia will wait and see what bowl they will be selected to participate in to close out the season.
featured photo courtesy USA Today