LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson emerged from the shadows of Kansas State’s never-thought-much-about Plan C and threw the game-winning touchdown in a 42-35 overtime win over Texas Tech.
Thompson, a redshirt freshman and once a heralded recruit within the Midwest, also threw a tying two-point conversion to Dalton Schoen that tied the game with 42 seconds to play.
“I’m so glad we won,” Thompson said. “That’s all that matters to me is we won the game. I was ready when my number was called. I knew I needed come in and help us win the football game. I wasn’t expecting it to come down to something like that, but I was ready. I was confident and felt like everyone was confident in me.”
The Red Raiders (4-5, 1-5 Big 12) followed up Thompson’s overtime touchdown with a fourth-and-goal pass from the 4-yard line that quarterback Nic Shimonek threw out the back of the end zone.
Kansas State (5-4, 3-3) had trailed for the previous 19:18 after blowing a 24-21 advantage before Shoen pulled down the two-pointer in the front corner of the end zone.
The 2-point play was set up by Thompson’s 1-yard dive into the end zone on second-and-goal. The five-play, 80-yard drive started after Texas Tech kicker Clayton Hatfield missed a 31-yard field goal with 3:40 left in regulation.
The Red Raiders have missed at least one kick, whether an extra point or field goal and sometimes both, in each game of what is now a four-game losing streak.
“There’s something going on,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “There’s no question. To not be able to get this one done, we’ve got to play with more confidence late in games. We’ve got to be able to make kicks. It’s a number of things. Got to have stops. Got to have drives.”
Thompson, who replaced Alex Delton after a helmet-to-helmet hit late in the first half, played the final 30 minutes and finished 5 of 8 for 96 yards passing with the touchdown through the air. Delton started the prior three games for Jesse Ertz, who is sidelined with a knee injury.
The Wildcats return home to host West Virginia, which is receiving votes in the AP poll.