LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Skylar Thompson passed for 296 yards and the game-winning touchdown and Kansas State came up with sacks on Texas Tech’s final two plays to take a 25-24 victory Saturday.
Thompson’s TD pass to Deuce Vaughn with just over six minutes left helped the Wildcats snap an eight-game Big 12 Conference losing streak.
The Red Raiders (5-3, 2-3) were driving into field-goal range with two first downs, reaching K-State’s 46-yard-line with three minutes to go. But the Wildcats’ defense came up big when Felix Anudike-Uzomah sacked Texas Tech quarterback Henry Colombi for a 6-yard loss and Nate Matlack dropped him for a 1-yard loss.
K-State (4-3, 1-3) fought back to take the 25-24 lead with a drive aided when Texas Tech’s Devin Drew was flagged for a hands-to-the-face penalty on a play that would have ended with the Wildcats facing fourth-and-16.
Instead, K-State got an automatic first down and quarterback Skylar Thompson threw four consecutive completions, the last to Vaughn for a 22-yard touchdown.
Kansas State climbed back into the game with a third-quarter safety and touchdown following the free kick.
Anudike-Uzomah stuffed SaRodorick Thompson for a 4-yard loss in the end zone to close a two-touchdown halftime deficit to 24-12. Malik Knowles had a 31-yard return on the free kick and the Wildcats drove 69 yards to pull within 24-19 on Vaughn’s 2-yard burst on fourth-and-1.
Tech Tech stunned the Wildcats early, scoring after just two offensive snaps — both running plays by receivers — and recovering a fumble on the ensuing kickoff.
Erik Ezukanma put the Red Raiders up when he took a jet sweep handoff and dashed 45 yards. Tyrique Matthews smothered Malik Knowles’ fumble on the ensuing kickoff and Texas Tech took possession at the 23-yard-line.
Sticking mostly to the ground, the Red Raiders drove the short distance and made it 14-0 when Thompson ducked into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard-line.
Kansas State ended a long stretch frustration by beating the Red Raiders for the sixth consecutive time and the 10th time in the last 11 meetings.
Texas Tech’s first chance at gaining bowl eligibility this season ended in frustrating fashion despite allowing only 22 rushing yards.
TCU at Kansas State next Saturday.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma next Saturday.
TEXAS TECH POSTGAME NOTES
- Today’s weather at kickoff: 73 degrees, light winds and partly cloudy.
- Texas Tech won the coin toss and elected to receive to start the game. Kansas State started the second half with the ball.
- Today’s game was televised by FS1. The previous seven games were on the ESPN family of networks this season.
- Today’s game marked the 22nd all-time meeting between Texas Tech and Kansas State, and the 18th time as Big 12 foes.
- Today’s game was the Red Raiders’ fifth Big 12 conference game of 2021, but just the second conference home game.
- Texas Tech wore white helmets, black jerseys and white pants against Kansas State.
- Today’s game captains were Dawson Deaton, Riko Jeffers and SaRodorick Thompson.
- As part of Texas Tech’s pregame entrance, Jonathan Garibay carried the U.S. flag and Jaylon Hutchings ran out with the state of Texas flag.
- Today’s attendance: 52,874.
Starters – (Offense) – (LT) T.J. Storment, (LG) Weston Wright, (C) Dawson Deaton, (RG) Josh Burger (RT) Caleb Rogers, (QB) Henry Colombi, (RB) SaRodorick Thompson, (TE) Mason Tharp, (TE) Travis Koontz, (WR) Kaylon Geiger Sr., (WR) Erik Ezukanma; (Defense) – (DE) Tyree Wilson, (N) Jaylon Hutchings, (T) Devin Drew (LB) Colin Schooler, (LB) Riko Jeffers, (LB) Brandon Bouyer-Randle, (LB) Krishon Merriweather, (CB) Rayshad Williams, (S) Reggie Pearson, (S) Eric Monroe. (CB) DaMarcus Fields
TEXAS TECH’S LOSS…
- Gives Texas Tech a 5-3 overall record in 2021.
- Gives Texas Tech a 9-13 all-time record against Kansas State.
- Gives Texas Tech a 6-12 all-time record against Kansas State in Big 12 games.
- Gives Texas Tech a 7-6 all-time record against Kansas State in games at Jones AT&T Stadium.
- Gives Matt Wells a career record of 13-17 at Texas Tech.
- Gives Matt Wells a 57-51 career record all-time as a head coach.
- Gives Matt Wells a 0-3 career record all-time against Kansas State.
TEXAS TECH’S TEAM NOTES
- First time scoring on the first two possessions this season – and looking back to last week at Kansas the Red Raiders scored nine of the last 12 times they possessed the ball. Tech punted on its third drive.
– Texas Tech scored on its first possession for the second-straight game, and the third time this season.
- Fast start but wrong result: The Red Raiders led 14-0 after the first quarter, and 24-10 at the half. Texas Tech dropped to 3-1 this season when having a halftime lead, and Wells drops to 10-3 at Tech when having a lead at halftime.
- Texas Tech posted 24 first half points for the second-straight game – the season-high remains 35 set against FIU.
- Texas Tech was limited to 10 or fewer completions for the first time since posting nine against Oklahoma in 1999.
- Entering the game as the FBS-leader in 40-yard or better explosive plays, the Red Raiders’ added four more to their resume on Saturday. Tech now owns 21 through eight games.
- Tech went 9-for-11 on third downs (81.8 percent) – its’ best percentage of the season last week – but dropped to 3-of-10 (30.0 percent) this week.
- Tech went a perfect 3-for-3 on trips to the red zone and improved to 32-of-34 for the season.
- Texas Tech doubled the number of fumble recoveries they owned entering Saturday as they recovered two. Tech entered today with just one recovery in its first seven games.
- Texas Tech was shut out in the second half on Saturday and outscored 15-0. It was the first time Texas Tech has been shut out in the second half since Nov. 17, 2018, at Kansas State.
NOTING THE RED RAIDERS
- Since picking up his first career rushing touchdown last week at Kansas, Erik Ezukanma rushed for a 45-yard touchdown on the second play of the game for his second rushing score in as many games.
- Tyrique Matthews forced a fumble (first career) on Tech’s first kickoff, McLane Mannix recovered the first fumble of his career on the play.
- After being held out of the end zone last week, SaRodorick Thompson recorded his 30th and 31st career rushing touchdowns, and moved into a tie for seventh with Larry Issac (1973-76) on the all-time top 10 list for career rushing touchdowns. He passed Billy Taylor (1974-77), Byron Hanspard (1994-96) and Zebbie Lethridge (1994-97) – each with 29 career scores in their respective careers.
– Thompson is up to eight rushing touchdowns in 2021 (despite missing the first two games of the season to injury). He’s matched his 2020 (8) total and trails his 2029 (12) total by four.
- Back in the lineup: After Tahj Brooks missed the previous four games, he carried the ball for the first time in the second quarter since his injury. He finished with four carries for 33 yards.
- DaMarcus Fields reached the 200 career tackles milestone – he finished with seven stops and owns 202 career tackles. He joins Colin Schooler, Riko Jeffers and Marquis Waters in the 200-yard club.
- Jonathan Garibay improved to 10-for-10 this season – connecting on a 27-yard field goal as time expired on the first half. Clayton Hatfield owns the record for consecutive field goals made (13), set in 2018.
- Tyree Wilson posted sacks on back-to-back plays – and it was his first career game with 2.0 sacks.
- Eric Monroe was one tackle short of matching his career-high of 12 tackles. His 11 tackles were a season-high, besting his eight at Texas on Sept. 25. He had 12 against Iowa State in 2020.
Release provided by Matt Dowdy Texas Tech Athletics