The Kansas State football team has made a name for itself this season by making its opponents pay for their mistakes while limiting its own.
On Saturday at Snyder Family Stadium, the Wildcats were beaten at their own game and lost to Missouri 38-12.
K-State committed three turnovers, never got its running game going and could do nothing to stop Mizzou’s high-powered passing game.
Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed 20 of 27 pass for 298 yards and three touchdowns. All three of his scores went to wide receiver Danario Alexander, who looked particularly good amassing 200 yards on 10 catches.
The only scores K-State could offer in return were four field goals from Josh Cherry. The kicker experienced a good day, going 4 for 4 on his attempts. But it wasn’t nearly enough to carry the Wildcats to a win.
Daniel Thomas, the Big 12′s leading rusher, ended with 79 yards on 13 carries. Grant Gregory passed for 239 yards and an interception. His main target was Brandon Banks, who finished with 128 yards on eight catches.
With the loss, K-State dropped to 6-5 overall and 4-3 in Big 12 play. Missouri improved to 6-4, 2-4.
The Wildcats are still one win away from bowl eligibility and a Big 12 North title, but they will have the chance to clinch both next week with a win at Nebraska.
11:29 4th Quarter
Derrick Washington just ran in a touchdown to give Missouri a 31-12 lead. The Tigers have just been too much for the Wildcats today.
Their high-powered passing game has had no problems moving the ball. Danario Alexander in particular has been outstanding. He has 200 yards and three touchdowns on 10 catches.
It will take the comeback of all comebacks for K-State to come back in this game. Looks like the Wildcats’ bowl and North title hopes will come down to the Nebraska game.
13:18 4th Quarter
Brandon Banks’ fumble in the first half swung the game Missouri’s way. Daniel Thomas’ fumble in the second half might have ended K-State’s chances at a comeback.
Missouri picked up Thomas’ drop and is now driving in the red zone for the game-clinching score.
43 Seconds 3rd Quarter
Danario Alexander is good at what he does. Blaine Gabbert just hit the Mizzou wide out in the middle of the field and Alexander outran everyone on for an 80-yard touchdown.
He now has 192 yards and three touchdowns.
57 Seconds 3rd Quarter
The score is now Missouri 17, Josh Cherry 12.
The kicker is 4 for 4 on field goals today, and if the fourth quarter goes like the third has his kicks alone will be enough to win this game for K-State.
Daniel Thomas got going on that last drive, breaking off a 22 yard run, and no has 79 on the game.
9:20 3rd Quarter
Josh Cherry is now 3 for 3 on field goals today.
The kicker is having a terrific day, but if K-State is to come back and win this game it will need to find a way into the end zone. The Wildcats were close on their first drive of the second half, which lastes 5 minutes, 40 seconds. But Daniel Thomas misfired on a trick pass to Jeron Mastrud and Attrail Snipes didn’t turn around in time on a pass from Gregory.
The Kansas State football is yet to figure out how to stop Blaine Gabbert or efficiently run against Missouri’s defense. For those reasons, the Wildcats trail at halftime 17-6.
Gabbert, the Tigers’ sophomore quarterback, has completed 17 of 21 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns so far. His main target has been Danario Alexander, who has grabbed eight passes for 112 yards and both scores.
The second touchown pass came with 20 seconds remaining in the half.
Missouri went on top first with a field goal but was quickly matched by K-State’s Josh Cherry.
The Wildcats were a half yard away from going ahead 10-3 when wide receiver Brandon Banks tried reaching the ball into the end zone early in the second quarter, but he ended up fumbling the ball through the end zone for a touchback.
The Tigers then went ahead 10-3 on Alexander’s first touchdown pass. It was a 14-point swing K-State has been good at avoiding this season.
The Wildcats cut into that lead with another Cherry field goal in the second quarter.
Daniel Thomas, the Big 12′s leading rusher, has rushed for 35 yards on 13 attempts. K-State actually has more passing yards at halftime (73) than rushing yards (55).
The Wildcats will get the ball first in the second half.
6:25 2nd Quarter
Grant Gregory threw a number of good passes to Brandon Banks and Lamark Brown to score on a drive that started at K-State’s own 12-yard line.
But the Wildcats are having trouble running the ball right now. They actually have more passing yards (73) than rushing yards (50) right now. You don’t see that often.
Still, K-State moved far enough down field to get into Josh Cherry field goal range. He just booted a 34-yarder to make the score 10-6.
12:07 2nd Quarter
The Wildcats were a half yard away from going ahead 10-3. But now they trail by that score.
As Brandon Banks was attempting to reach the ball into the end zone, he fumbled and the ball went out of bounds for a touchback.
Mizzou then converted a third down thanks to a K-State pass interference penalty and Blain Gabbert heaved a 54-yard touchdown strike to Danario Alexander for a touchdown.
Tysyn Hartman was in position to make a play on the bomb, but Alexander won the battle.
The play completed a 14-point swing.
End 1st Quarter
Kansas State will face a 2nd and 6 at the 10-yard line when play resumes.
A roughing the passer penalty kept this current drive alive.
5:33 1st Quarter
A big kick return by Brandon Banks gave the Wildcats good field position, and K-State took advantage by crossing the 30-yard line and kicking a field goal to tie the game.
Josh Cherry continues his strong play during the second half of this season. He now has 47-yard field goals in back-to-back games.
10:13 1st Quarter
Missouri methodically moved down the field on its opening drive and got in the red zone, but John Houlik prevented a touchdown by deflecting a pass with the back of his helmet on a third-down play.
The Tigers kicked a short field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
Danario Alexander already has 28 yards receiving.
10 minutes till kickoff
The five seniors K-State will miss most:
Nick Stringer (four-year starter on the O-line)
Grant Gregory (smart, mostly mistake-free quarterback)
Brandon Banks (speedy wide receiver, one of the better return specialists in program history)
Jeron Mastrud (consistent receiving threat at tight end)
Jeffrey Fitzgerald (Very likely could be playing in the NFL next year)
30 minutes till kickoff
Overcast skies here in Manhattan as Kansas State prepares to take on Missouri.
Looks like no one notable is missing from the pregame warmups. So let’s get into some keys to the game:
Missouri is a first-half team, and if Kansas State can stay close to the Tigers or own a lead at half team it will likely win. The Wildcats have allowed 31 points during the second half of home games this season.
Danario Alexander and Daniel Thomas have similar stats. Alexander, Mizzou’s leading wide receiver, 1,038 yards through the air. Thomas, K-State’s leading rusher, has 1,087 yards on the ground.
Bill Snyder hasn’t lost to Missouri since 1992.
K-State is trying to go undefeated at home for the first time since 1999.
The Wildcats are saying goodbye to 24 seniors on this senior day.