LUBBOCK (KSNT) – After a discouraging road loss to Oklahoma State, K-State football needed a victory over Texas Tech to get spirits back on track.
Behind the play of true freshman quarterback Avery Johnson, the Wildcats got back in the win column with a 38-21 victory over the Red Raiders.
Will Howard still started the game at quarterback for K-State. However, after a field goal on the opening possession and a punt after, the Wildcats opted to send in Johnson to lead the offense.
The change of plans paid off. Johnson marched the team down the field in five plays, using his feet to score a two-yard rushing touchdown and takes a 10-0 lead early.
Howard and Johnson rotated in throughout the rest of the first half. Up 10-7 with four minutes to play, Johnson replaced Howard in the middle of the drive, finding the endzone on a five-yard rush to give the Wildcats a 17-7 lead.
A Red Raider touchdown shortened the lead, but K-State still lead 17-14 at the break.
Out of the locker room, the Wildcat defense stood the Red Raiders up, forcing an incomplete pass on fourth down for a turnover.
K-State went back to Howard, but the offense couldn’t get moving and had to punt. Texas Tech put together a ten-play, 99-yard drive to take a 24-21 lead.
Johnson went back under center from there. K-State responded to Tech’s call with a 30-yard Johnson rushing touchdown, his third of the night.
On the Red Raiders next play, safety V.J. Payne intercepted a pass from Jake Strong. The play after that, Johnson ran 11 yards into the endzone for his fourth touchdown, giving K-State a 31-21 lead.
The next two Texas Tech drives went the way of the Wildcat. Safety Kobe Savage came up with back-to-back interceptions – the second and third for the team in the game – with Savage’s second paying dividends.
Johnson took the field again, showing his patience in the fourth. The freshman capped a ten-play, 80-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run, marking five on the night for Johnson.
With a turnover on downs following, K-State would win the game 38-21.
Johnson was mostly used on the ground game, carrying the ball 12 times for 91 yards and five touchdowns. Howard outgained Johnson in the air, finishing 6/9 for 86 yards, while Johnson finished 8/9 for 77 yards.
The win improves K-State’s record to 4-2, 2-1 in Big 12 play. The Wildcats return home for a Big 12 Championship game rematch against TCU on October 21.