By Chois Woodman
Kansas State won its third straight game while handing No. 25 Texas Tech its third straight loss with the 49-26 victory over the Red Raiders on Saturday afternoon in Lubbock.
Texas Tech had won its three previous games that started at 11 a.m., but someone forgot to wake the Red Raiders up for this game.
The Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3) defense allowed 367 yards of total offense with 291 of those yards gained on the ground. In fact, Kansas State was having so much success in their running game that the Wildcat (5-4, 3-3) offense did not have a pass attempt until about three minutes into the second quarter.
Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said it was no surprise that Bill Snyder's offense ran the ball so much.
"We knew what they were going to do, they just did a great job executing it," Kinsbury said. "They had a good plan, they're good athletes, but it wasn't like it was a surprise what they were going to do. They just outplayed us."
John Hubert led the Kansas State rushing attack with 157 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats scored a touchdown on each of their first five drives of the game.
Tech senior defensive lineman Kerry Hyder said the defense just did not play well early in the game.
"It was definitely a disappointment," he said. "We had a lot of missed assignments, guys not doing their jobs - trying to do other people's jobs. It definitely showed in the first half."
The Red Raider offense did not play much better than the defense. True freshman Davis Webb started his fifth consecutive game at quarterback, but Kingsbury replaced him with fellow true freshman Baker Mayfield searching for an offensive boost.
"I just thought we needed a little spark," Kingsbury said, "and Baker got in there, moved around and did some good things, but we'll have to watch the film and really evaluate it."
Mayfield went 34 of 44 for 276 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions, and one of those was returned 43 yards by Ty Zimmerman for a touchdown. Mayfield also had 29 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, and a fumble in the game.
It was a somber Senior Day for 18 Red Raiders who played their final game at Jones Stadium, but Kingsbury said he was proud of Eric Ward's effort in the game.
"I was disappointed that we sent all those seniors out that way," Kingsbury said, "but he's been playing really well for us. He plays hard each and every day at practice and in the games, as well, whether the ball is coming to him or not.
Ward led all receivers with 11 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.
He said the team was just unable to execute and avoid mistakes.
"We had a lot of penalties, we had a lot of fumbles today," Ward said. "Turnovers is what killed us today, and Kansas State came to play. They deserved to win."
The senior wideout also moved in to fourth place on the all-time receptions list in school history with 237. Ward passed Michael Crabtree to gain the fourth place spot.
Tech tight end Jace Amaro recorded his ninth straight game with at least eight receptions as he had nine catches for 67 yards in the loss.
Tech was able to have some success rushing the football, but found itself playing catch-up almost the entire game, so it was forced into several passing situations.
Kenny Williams had 15 carries for 66 yards, and Sadale Foster had three rushes for 19 yards and a score.
Tech travels to Dallas next Saturday for their game against No. 6 Baylor.
Kingbury said despite the disappointment of losing the last three games, he has not given up on the season.
"We got out-coached, we got out-played, and it's up to us what we want to do with these last two weeks," he said. "I was disappointed for the seniors. I let them know I appreciate what they've done. It's not the way we wanted to send them out in there last game, but there's a lot of football left to play."