K-State Outlasts Louisiana Tech, 39-33, in 3 OTs




1-2 (0-1 C-USA)

3-0 (0-0 Big 12)

J. Driskel (QB): 30-51, 314yds, 1TD
K. Dixon (RB): 17car, 81yds 0TD
T. Taylor (WR): 12rec 148yds, 1TD

J. Hubener (QB): 15-26, 195yds, 3TDs
J. Silmon (RB): 24car, 114yds 0TD
K. Cook (WR): 4rec 73yds, 2TD

TEAM 1 2 3 4 O1 O2 O3 F
LT 0 10 3 10 7 3 0 33
KST 3 3 7 10 7 3 6 39

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Junior quarterback Joe Hubener connected on a 31-yard scoring strike to senior wide out Kody Cook in the third overtime to help propel Kansas State past Louisiana Tech, 39-33, on Saturday in front of 53,540 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

The overtime finish was just the third time a Kansas State (3-0) team went into overtime, and the second at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It was the first overtime game since the Wildcats topped Texas A&M, 53-50, in four overtimes on November 12, 2011 at home.

After Charles Jones’ 2-point conversion failed leaving the score at 39-33, the Bulldogs (1-2, 0-1 C-USA) still had an opportunity to tie or win the game in the third overtime. However, the Wildcat defense stiffed, forcing quarterback Jeff Driskel to throw four-straight incomplete passes to preserve the victory.

Hubener led the K-State attack on offense in just his second-career start, going 15-of-26 for 195 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Cook. The pivotal play came with the Wildcats backed up to the Louisiana Tech 31 after an illegal block penalty and facing 3rd-and-16.

Cook recorded a standout day, catching a career-high four passes for a career-high 73 yards and a career-best two touchdowns, while Deante Burton (58 yards) and Dominique Heath (42 yards) also recorded solid performances. Redshirt freshman Justin Silmon paced the Wildcats on the ground with a career-high 114 yards on a career-high and game-high 24 carries. Jones added a touchdown on seven carries.

On the defensive end, sophomore linebacker Elijah Lee posted a career-high 12 tackles to go with two sacks and a forced fumble. Junior defense end Jordan Willis added five tackles, along with 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.

Senior place-kicker Jack Cantele went perfect on the day, hitting from 33, 38, 20, 44 yards to tie his career high of four field goals made in a game. Cantele now has made 23 career field goals, ranking him 10th in school history.

K-State opened the scoring as Cantele hit a 33-yard field goal to cap a 9-play, 64-yard drive to give the ‘Cats a 3-0 lead with 6:03 remaining in the first quarter. Cantele would extend the lead four minutes into the second quarter, connecting on a 38-yard field goal to make it 6-0 at the 11:06 mark. The field goal capped off a 12-play, 62-yard drive; the longest drive of the game for the Wildcats.

Louisiana Tech took the lead on the game’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run by Driskel, giving the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead at the 3:30 mark. Driskel threw for 31 of the 46 yards on the drive before running in for the touchdown.

The Bulldogs would strike again 13 seconds before halftime as kicker Jonathan Barnes hit on the first of four field goals on the day, this one from 25 yards out, to push the lead to 10-6. Driskel’s arm again played a major factor in the drive, accounting for 50 of the 59 yards on the drive.

Louisiana Tech extended its lead to 13-6 in the third quarter, as Barnes connected on a 39-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 38-yard drive at the 5:16 mark.

K-State scored its first touchdown of the game with just 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter, as Hubener connected with Cook for a 4-yard score to knot the game at 13-all. It was Cook’s first touchdown of the season. Silmon rushed for 58 of the drive’s 75 yards on just five carries.

Driskel gave the Bulldogs the lead again at 20-13 with his second rushing touchdown of the game – an 8-yard scamper – just a few minutes into the fourth quarter. Running back Kenneth Dixon had a big 36-yard rush to highlight the drive, while Driskel had a 13-yard run and a 17-yard pass to set up his touchdown.

After the Wildcats forced the Bulldogs off the field, Heath jump started the offense by returning a punt 58 yards to the Louisiana Tech 7. Jones would score just two plays later to tie the game up at 20-all with 7:04 to play.

K-State then retook the lead with less than three minutes remaining in the game, as Cantele hit on his third field goal of the day – a 21-yarder – to put the Wildcats ahead 23-20.

After using all three of its timeouts to force a K-State three-and-out with 1:16 left, Louisiana Tech marched 60-yards in 11 plays capped by a Barnes’ 45-yard field goal as time expired. Driskel had pass plays of 22, 6, 9, 17 and 9 yards to set up the game-tying field goal.

The Wildcats struck first in overtime on a 22-yard touchdown from Hubener to Heath, capping off a 3-play drive. The Bulldogs answered with a touchdown of their own, capping off a 6-play drive with a touchdown pass from Driskel to Trent Taylor, who finished the game with 12 catches for a game-high 148 yards.

In the second overtime, Louisiana Tech kicked a field goal to push the lead to 33-30. Four plays later, Cantele kicked his fourth field goal of the game – a 44-yarder – to tie the game again and force a third overtime. The kick tied Cantele’s career high, which was set on November 2, 2013 against Iowa State.

The Wildcats head into a bye week before opening conference play on Saturday, October 3 at Oklahoma State (3-0). The kickoff time has not been set for that contest.