Cats Lose 6th Straight; First Time Since ’89

| November 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

LUBBOCK, Tex — Over the last 25 years, Kansas State has seldom made history for the wrong reasons. But the Wildcats did just that on Saturday at Texas Tech, losing a sixth-consecutive game for the first time since 1989.

This loss was not unlike many others for K-State (3-6, 0-6 Big 12), whose season may be circling the drain. The Wildcats gave up far too many points early, then saw their comeback bid come up short in a 59-44 defeat.

“We have to start ball games better,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “It’s that simple. “You can take your pick of the last five or six games. We have not been functional on the first drive, and that puts us behind.”

Aside from Morgan Burns’ 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, which tied the game at seven, K-State’s first quarter was its worst of the season. The Red Raiders moved the ball without any resistance, scoring four touchdowns and totalling 298 yards of offense.

Between the scores, the Wildcats tried to install a passing attack, despite Texas Tech’s reputation of poor rush defense. It was unsuccessful.

“We have to be able to throw the ball and have balance in our offense to be a productive offensive football team,” Snyder said. “If we’re one-sided, and the other team is a decent team, we’re in trouble.”

Down by 21, K-State changed course in the second quarter, and rallied to get within 35-28 early in the third. Joe Hubener had three rushing touchdowns and Charles Jones totalled 99 yards on the ground.

The Wildcat defense buckled down as well, forcing Tech into three punts and a fumble during the stretch.

But the hole dug early on was too deep to emerge from. K-State’s offense fizzled late in the third quarter and Texas Tech seemed to put the game away with 17 unanswered points.

K-State was not quite done. The Wildcats scored 16 points over a four-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to climb within 52-44. Hubener found Dominique Heath for a six-yard score, then hit Kyle Klein from 33 yards out two minutes later.

The Wildcats recovered one onside kick, but had a second one called back due to penalty. For the second straight week, an admirable effort late came up just short.

The Red Raiders finished the game with 658 yards of total offense. TTU quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 384 yards, while running back DeAndre Washington added 248 yards and three scores.

The Wildcats must now win their final three games of the season to reach bowl eligibility for the sixth straight season. Against Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia, it’s certainly possible.

But K-State is not thinking about three wins. It just wants to stop the bleeding with one.

“We’ve shown that we won’t give up,” cornerback Duke Shelley said. “This hurts, but we are capable of rallying together.”

The Wildcats host ISU at 11 a.m. next Saturday.

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