Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson capped his career with a nearly flawless game as the Wildcats defeated LSU 42-20 in the Texas Bowl on Tuesday night in Houston.
Thompson completed 21 of 28 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. He was 10 of 10 for 120 yards on third down.
K-State’s Deuce Vaughn ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a receiving touchdown.
LSU (6-7) was limited to approximately 40 scholarship players. Three starters opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft and 10 other players entered the transfer portal, including the top two quarterbacks.
Freshman Garrett Nussmeier was the only scholarship quarterback on the LSU roster, and he would have had to burn his redshirt year if he had played. So backup wide receiver Jontre Kirklin took most of the snaps for the Tigers. Kirklin threw only 11 passes, completing seven. He threw three touchdown passes and two interceptions. Two of his touchdowns came in the final 3:35 left in the game.
Holding a 21-7 halftime lead, K-State forced an LSU three-and-out in the third quarter before a seven-play, 61-yard drive to take a 28-7 lead. Vaughn scored on an 18-yard touchdown run.
Following an interception by Ross Elder, K-State went 55 yards in three plays for a 35-7 lead. Thompson hit Vaughn with a 2-yard touchdown pass.
K-State took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Malik Knowles.
After a three-and-out by LSU, the Wildcats marched 71 yards in 18 plays, taking 9:16 to take a 14-0 lead. Vaughn scampered in from the 1-yard line for the touchdown. To that point, K-State had held a 15:03 to 3:18 advantage in time of possession.
Russ Yeast intercepted Kirklin’s pass on the next drive, setting up K-State at the LSU 43. Thompson found Knowles for a 6-yard touchdown pass and the Wildcats led 21-0.
K-State was 6 of 8 on third down in the first half, and the Cats converted both fourth-down tries.
Kirklin found Jaray Jenkins with a 23-yard touchdown pass just before halftime, capping a 13-play, 75-yard drive to cut the deficit to 21-7.
–Field Level Media