Sep 09, 2023

K-State improves to 2-0

Posted Sep 09, 2023 9:20 PM

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Will Howard passed for three touchdowns and ran for two others as No. 15 Kansas State defeated Troy 42-13 Saturday.

Howard threw touchdown passes of 9 yards to Jadon Jackson and 39 yards to Philip Brooks to help the Wildcats (2-0) to a 21-10 lead at the half, and his 2-yard run late in the third quarter made it an 18-point game.

K-State went over 40 points for the fourth straight regular-season game. The Wildcats also stopped Troy's 12-game winning streak, the second-longest in FBS coming into the game.

Howard finished 21 of 32 for 250 yards and had eight carries for 33 yards.

“It wasn't perfect, by any stretch,” Howard said. “We had some rough moments early in the second quarter. But we needed it. This was a game where we learned a lot. That was a really good team. They've got one of the tougher defenses I've ever gone against. They were hitting, and they did some really good things, schematically.

"I think that was a really good game for us to learn from. ”

K-State held the Trojans (1-1) to 286 total yards a week after they gained 540 against Stephen F. Austin.

Troy's Gunnar Watson was 17 of 32 for 167 yards with a touchdown and interception.

The Wildcats put the game out of reach with a nine-play, 76-yard drive capped by Howard's 1-yard shovel pass to Treshaun Ward for a 35-13 lead.

“That was a great win for our guys, a great win over a really good team,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said. “Their quarterback is a good player. We were going to shut down their run game. We gave them one big run where we missed a fit, but we did a really good job in the rush game."

K-State had a 21-10 halftime lead and put the clamps on the Troy offense in the third quarter. The Trojans' first three drives netted minus-1 yard.

“They had their way in the second quarter a little bit, so we had to make some adjustments," Klieman said. "I thought our guys adjusted well.”

Troy had pulled within 14-10 with 52 seconds left in the second quarter on Watson's 21-yard TD pass to Chris Lewis. Lewis made a dazzling one-handed catch in the end zone.

Kansas State had a huge answer just before halftime when Howard found Brooks on a crossing pattern for the 39-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left. Brooks caught the ball around the 20 and raced up the sideline for the score and a 21-10 halftime lead.