Will Howard passes for 3 TDs and runs for 2 others to lead No. 15 K-State past Troy 42-13

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Will Howard passed for three touchdowns and ran for two others as No. 15 Kansas State defeated Troy 42-13 Saturday.

Howard threw touchdown passes of 9 yards to Jadon Jackson and 39 yards to Philip Brooks to help the Wildcats (2-0) to a 21-10 lead at the half, and his 2-yard run late in the third quarter made it an 18-point game.

K-State went over 40 points for the fourth straight regular-season game. The Wildcats also stopped Troy's 12-game winning streak, the second-longest in FBS coming into the game.

Howard finished 21 of 32 for 250 yards and had eight carries for 33 yards.

“It wasn't perfect, by any stretch,” Howard said. “We had some rough moments early in the second quarter. But we needed it. This was a game where we learned a lot. That was a really good team. They've got one of the tougher defenses I've ever gone against. They were hitting, and they did some really good things, schematically.

"I think that was a really good game for us to learn from. ”

K-State held the Trojans (1-1) to 286 total yards a week after they gained 540 against Stephen F. Austin.

“I can’t take anything away from them — hats off to Kansas State,” Troy coach Jon Sumrall said. “But I don’t care about the opponent. What makes me upset is we didn’t play to our standard. It makes me sick. K-State is going to beat a lot of people when they play good, but we can’t play the way we did and expect to beat anybody. We have a long way to go.”

Troy's Gunnar Watson was 17 of 32 for 167 yards with a touchdown and interception.

“This game doesn’t define us or mark us as a team,” safety Dell Pettus said. “And we know that. But we are going to put in the work to fix it.”

The Wildcats put the game out of reach with a nine-play, 76-yard drive capped by Howard's 1-yard shovel pass to Treshaun Ward for a 35-13 lead.

“That was a great win for our guys, a great win over a really good team,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said. “Their quarterback is a good player. We were going to shut down their run game. We gave them one big run where we missed a fit, but we did a really good job in the rush game."

K-State had a 21-10 halftime lead and put the clamps on the Troy offense in the third quarter. The Trojans' first three drives netted minus-1 yard.

“They had their way in the second quarter a little bit, so we had to make some adjustments," Klieman said. "I thought our guys adjusted well.”

Troy had pulled within 14-10 with 52 seconds left in the second quarter on Watson's 21-yard TD pass to Chris Lewis. Lewis made a dazzling one-handed catch in the end zone.

Kansas State had a huge answer just before halftime when Howard found Brooks on a crossing pattern for the 39-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left. Brooks caught the ball around the 20 and raced up the sideline for the score and a 21-10 halftime lead.

“We definitely needed to make a play right there,” Brooks said. “That play was big-time, because they had stopped us a few times.”


Kansas State did not overlook Troy. After being stunned at home by non-Power Five opponents in two of the last three seasons, the Wildcats defended the home field with a strong defensive effort.


Troy: Trojans will return home to face James Madison for their Sun Belt Conference opener.

Kansas State: Wildcats will travel to Columbia, Missouri, for a matchup with their former Big Eight and Big 12 rival Missouri.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll