Unsportsmanlike conduct calls were all but ignored as the Kansas State Wildcats celebrated a game clinching 41-yard field goal kick by sophomore Jack Cantele, in the last few seconds of their game against TCU on Saturday.
K-State’s sixth win made them bowl eligible, while simultaneously ending TCU’s postseason prospects. It’s the fourth straight bowl eligible season for the Wildcats, who are now 6-4 and 4-3 in the Big 12, and their 17th overall.
Head coach, Bill Snyder’s two quarterback system really shined in a way that hadn’t been seen up to this point in the season. Though the duo have had bright moments, Saturday’s game highlighted their cohesiveness and transitional abilities.
The Wildcats got things heated up early in the first quarter with an interception by senior linebacker Blake Slaughter. That effort was quickly followed by an 11-yard touchdown by quarterback Daniel Sams and a 74-yard touchdown pass from other Wildcat quarterback Jake Waters to wide receiver Tyler Lockett. This put the Wildcats up with a 14-0 lead with more than two minutes left in the first quarter.
However, even K-State’s early action couldn’t keep prevent a 15-yard touchdown run by TCU tailback B.J. Catalon, though the Wildcats responded with a field goal by Cantele, putting them up 17-7 at the half.
The lead turned in TCU’s favor for the first time, in the third quarter, with a one-yard touchdown pass from Trevone Boykin to Josh Dotson. Following a fumble by Sams, Boykin again executed with a seven yard touchdown run. With a successful point after attempt from kicker Jaden Oberkrom, TCU moved ahead with a 21-17 lead.
K-State caused the third lead change of the game with a pass from Waters to wide receiver Tramaine Thompson, who out-hustled Elisha Olabode to the end zone for a 79-yard touchdown, making the score 24-21.
Not ready to be silenced, TCU struck back with a 51-yard pass from quarterback Case Pachall to David Porter. Another Oberkrom kick put TCU up 28-24.
With just under three minutes left in the third quarter, Cantele tacked on another field goal just before an uncommon penalty called against TCU.
TCU was called for illegal equipment, which turned out to mean that they had placed two player with the No. 2 on the field during a punt. The TCU mistake provided K-State the opportunity to move into field goal range which they capitialized on with a 23-yard field goal for a 30-28 lead.
After a pass disruption from the Wildcats Alauna Finau, TCU decided to chance a 56-yard field goal, once again allowing the Horned Frogs to inch ahead at 31-30 with more than two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcat offense ate up the majority of the remaining time hustling down the field before allowing Cantele to seal the game with his 41-yard field goal.
K-State will conclude its home games on Saturday, as they host No. 18 Oklahoma (8-2, 5-2 Big 12).