No. 22 Kansas State routs No. 9 Oklahoma State, 48-0

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – After the final seconds ticked away on No. 22 Kansas State’s comprehensive 48-0 win over ninth-ranked Oklahoma State on Saturday, thousands of purple-clad fans didn’t storm the field so much as they wandered onto it in celebration.

Which was altogether fitting, considering the way the Wildcats methodically trounced the Cowboys.

Backup quarterback Will Howard threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns, Deuce Vaughn ran for 158 yards and another score, and a late interception by the Wildcats sealed Oklahoma State’s first shutout loss since 2009 while allowing Kansas State to remain a game behind TCU in the race for berths in the Big 12 championship game.

“This is as good a win as I’ve ever been a part of,” Kansas State coach Chris Klieman said. “Offense fed off defense. Defense fed off the offense. We need to play complementary football and we were really good in all three phases.”

Kansas State scored TDs on its first two possessions, had 495 yards of total offense and held Oklahoma State, which had been the nation’s No. 3 scoring offense at 44.7 points per game, to just 217 yards – less than half its season average.

Kade Warner caught five passes for 97 yards and two scores, and Malik Knowles had eight catches for 113 yards. The late interception gave the Wildcats (6-2, 4-1) their first shutout of the Cowboys since a 10-0 win on Nov. 21, 1992.

“We’re confident,” Howard said. “We feel good right now. And we just played a really good game against a really good team and beat them 48-0. And the nice thing is, we haven’t played our best game, and that’s still in front of us.”

Spencer Sanders was just 13 of 26 for 147 yards with an interception for Oklahoma State (6-2, 3-2) before landing hard on his shoulder midway through the fourth quarter. The star quarterback did not return to the game.

The Cowboys’ most lopsided loss in nearly 18 seasons under coach Mike Gundy was also their first shutout loss to anyone since Nov. 28, 2009, when they fell 27-0 to Oklahoma in the Bedlam game.

“We got our butt kicked,” Gundy said. “I’m not taking anything away from Kansas State. They’re a good team and they played really well. I don’t know if they could have played a better game than they did today.”

The Wildcats have had some strangely easy wins over Oklahoma State. The last time a Gundy team was held to 12 points or fewer was in a 31-12 loss in Manhattan in 2018, and the last time the Cowboys trailed any game by at least 38 points was during a 48-14 loss to the Wildcats in 2014.

The biggest question surrounding Kansas State was the health of its own quarterback, Adrian Martinez, who played just four snaps in last week’s loss to TCU because of a knee injury. And while he warmed up with the starters Saturday, it was the veteran backup Howard who headed out to the field on the opening possession of the game.

Howard proceeded to torture the banged-up Cowboys defense for the next 30 minutes.

He capped the opening drive by hitting Warner on fourth-and-10 for a 38-yard TD reception. Then, after Vaughn ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run, Howard threw a 31-yard third-down scoring strike to Phillip Brooks to make it 21-0.

“Adrian didn’t feel like he was 100 percent confident in what he was going to be able to do,” Klieman said, “and I appreciate that because he’s a team player. We knew we would be good either way.”

Howard’s fourth TD throw – also to Warner and also on third down – was a short screen that turned into a 41-yard strike. And the final touchdown of the half, after Oklahoma State stuffed Kansas State twice at the goal line, went to Vaughn with just 11 seconds left and made it 35-0 at halftime.

Meanwhile, the prolific Cowboys offense couldn’t answer any of the scores.

Their opening drive ended with a fourth-down incompletion. The next ended in a punt, and the next when Oklahoma State wide receiver Brennan Presley fumbled the ball away on the first play. The Cowboys punted twice more in the half around an interception, when Sanders overthrew everyone but the Kansas State defense.

The only question in the second half was whether the Wildcats would keep the Cowboys off the scoreboard.

“It takes all of us,” Warner said, “to have an outcome like that today.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Oklahoma State had won eight of its past 10 against ranked opponents, and the losses were by five last year to Baylor and three in double-overtime to TCU this season. But the Cowboys never put up a fight against Kansas State, even though the winner would have the inside track on a possible rematch with the Horned Frogs in the Big 12 title game.

Kansas State celebrated its first home game in 28 days by ending a three-game skid against the Cowboys in confidence-building fashion. It dominated on both sides of the ball, and on special teams, nearly got a punt return touchdown.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma State heads down Interstate 70 to face Kansas next Saturday.

Kansas State welcomes Texas to Bill Snyder Family Stadium the same day.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”