Kansas State vs Southern Illinois results: K-State escapes with 31-23 victory

Arne Green
Topeka Capital-Journal

Kansas State is in at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan for its home opener against Southern Illinois. So is reporter Arne Green, who will have updates and analysis throughout the game below.

Kansas State pitched a second-half shutout and the offense came up with enough points to rally for a 31-23 victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Will Howard struggled at quarterback in place of injured Skyler Thompson, but had a big completion to Phillip Brooks to keep the Wildcats' final scoring drive alive.

Wildcats come up empty

After Felix Anudike forced a fumble by Nic Baker and Daniel Green recovered at the SIU 9, Kansas State got nothing as Taiten Winkel missed a 24-yard field goal attempt. Salukis take over at their 20 with 7:14 left, trailing 24-23.

Getting ready for the stretch

Kansas State punts it away and Southern Illinois takes over at its own 9-yard line with 9:15 left. Wildcats are clinging to a 24-23 lead.

K-State regains the lead

After stopping SIU to start the second half, K-State put together a 14-play, 66-yard drive that took 7:38 off the clock and ended with a 34-yard field goal by Taiten Winkel to put the Wildcats up 24-23.

Salukis rally to lead Kansas State at the half, 23-21 

Southern Illinois made a stunning comeback, scoring three times in less than two minutes to lead Kansas State 23-21 at the half on PJ Jules' 41-yard interception return with 3:16 left.

Deuce Vaughn's second touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run, put K-State up 21-3 with 9:16 to go in the half. But SIU answered with a 75-yard drive and 4-yard touchdown run by Javon Williams out of the wildcat formation at the 5:09 mark.

On K-State's next play, Vaughn fumbled and Gianini Delizaire recovered at the Wildcat 9. Williams again ran out of the wildcat twice, scoring on a 1-yard run, cutting the lead to 21-16.

That led to Jules' pick. Howard, playing for an injured Skylar Thompson at quarterback, threw another interception with 59 seconds to go in the half, but there was no further damage.

First-quarter score: Kansas State 14, SIU 0

Kansas State leads 14-0 after one quarter, but SIU is driving inside the Wildcat 15 as the quarter ends. Wildcats now without Skylar Thompson, who appeared to suffer a non-contact leg injury.

Skylar Thompson goes down

Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson pulled up lame after handing the ball off to Deuce Vaughn with 7:21 left in the first quarter and was helped off the field to the injury tent.

Will Howard came on with the Wildcats facing second down and goal at the Southern Illinois 4 and picked up a first down. Two plays later, he scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to put K-State up 14-0.

Fast start for Wildcats

It hasn't taken Kansas State long to seize control of this game. First the Wildcats drive 75 yards in six plays for a 4-yard Deuce Vaughn touchdown. The drive included a 43-yard pass from Skylar Thompson to Malik Knowles.

Then, on SIU's second play, Ryan Henington tips a Nic Baker pass and defensive tackle Jalen Pickle makes a diving interception. K-State ball at the SIU 34.

Game-time weather

As we near kickoff, the temperature is 92 with a heat index of 95 under clear skies. Wind from the south at 11 mph.

Filling the Bill?

Kansas State is expecting close to a sellout crowd tonight for its home opener. Listed capacity is 50,000 for Bill Snyder Family Stadium, but the all-time attendance record is 53,811 against Nebraska on Nov. 11, 2000.

This crowd won't approach that, but it's a festive atmosphere with no limitations this year.