MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT) – K-State beat Southern Illinois 31-23 in its 2021 home opener Saturday.
The biggest news of the game was quarterback Skylar Thompson going down with an apparent leg injury and leaving the game in the middle of the first quarter.
Thompson did not return to the game, and K-State has not announced the details of his injury yet.
The ‘Cats turned to backup QB Will Howard, who ran for a touchdown shortly after taking over for Thompson.
Deuce Vaughn ran for three touchdowns in the win.
After K-State jumped out to an early 21-3 lead, SIU grabbed all the momentum.
Two touchdown runs by Javon Williams put the Salukis back in the game.
Then, Will Howard’s pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown just before half time. The pick-six and ensuing PAT put SIU in the lead, 23-21, at halftime.
K-State got a field goal in the third quarter to take a one-point lead, but the game remained close the entire way.
Vaughn’s third touchdown run of the night came with under two minutes to play and finally gave the ‘Cats some breathing room.
It was the K-State defense that kept them in the game with a shutout second half.
Deuce Vaughn finished the game with 26 carries for 120 yards.
Malik Knowles was the leading receiver for the Wildcats with 112 yards on four receptions.
Skylar Thompson was 3-for-4 with 96 yards passing before leaving the game.
Will Howard finished the game with 76 yards passing, completing 8 passes on 17 attempts.
K-State is home again Sept. 18 when they host Nevada.