MANHATTAN, Kan. — Jonathan Barnes converted a career-high four field goals and Trent Taylor registered a career-high 148 receiving yards but a 4th-and-10 pass to him fell to the ground as Louisiana Tech fell at Kansas State, 39-33, in triple overtime Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, Kansas.
The game marked the longest in Louisiana Tech history as the Bulldogs (1-2) pushed the Wildcats (3-0) to the brink in front of 53,540 in the third-largest crowd in Bill Snyder Family Stadium history.
“It is tough,” Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel said. “It is a disappointed locker room. We expected to win the game, the whole game. Coming into the game we expected it, during the game we expected it and in overtime we expected it. It is tough to come out with a loss like that. I am proud to be a part of this program, to be with these guys. We just have to bounce back.”
Taylor ended the day 148 receiving yards on 12 catches – both career bests for the junior – and caught the lone touchdown pass of the day for Louisiana Tech which came in the first overtime period. Driskel was 30-for-51 passing for 314 yards with no interceptions, but was sacked five times. Driskel ran for 42 yards and two touchdowns in the game, the first marking the first touchdown Kansas State has allowed this season.
“Jeff (Driskel) played an amazing game,” Taylor said of his quarterback. “You could not ask for much more. He is just fire out there. He is a guy that you love to have on your team. He gives 110 percent effort.”
Barnes converted field goal attempts from 25, 39, 45 and 32 yards but missed a 33-yard attempt in the first quarter as his plant foot slipped on the FieldTurf.
Nick Thomason led the Bulldog defense with eight total tackles (seven solo, one assisted) and registered two tackles for a loss of four yards. Deldrick Canty and Vontarrius Dora also were responsible for two tackles for a loss each.
“I have great respect for Coach Snyder and I congratulated him and his team,” Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said after the game. “I thought they did the things they needed to do to win the football game. I am just really proud of the way we competed. I thought the defense played really well outside of that last play – the third down and 16, where they gave up the touchdown, but I thought they played their tails off today.”
Kansas State was led by tailback Justin Silmon’s 114 rushing yards while quarterback Joe Hubener passed for 195 yards and three touchdowns in a 15-for-26 performance.
Louisiana Tech held a 20-13 lead over K-State after Driskel’s eight-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter but the Wildcats took the three-point lead after Charles Jones’ two-yard run and Jack Cantele’s 20-yard field goal.
Jones’ touchdown that tied the game at 20-20 came as K-State set its scoring drive up with a 58-yard punt return by Dominique Heath. Jones would score on the second play of the drive as the Wildcats needed to only move the ball seven yards to reach the end zone.
After Cantele’s field goal – one of four on the day for the K-State kicker – put the Wildcats up 23-20 with under three minutes left in regulation, LA Tech would struggle to move the ball gaining only one yard in three plays. Tech would punt the ball away and the defense would hold K-State to a three-and-out, aided by one of Thomason’s tackles for a loss.
After a 47-yard punt by Kansas State, Louisiana Tech started the last drive of regulation on its own 12 yard line, driving 60 yards in 11 plays with Barnes kicking the game-tying 45-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime.
LA Tech and Kansas State would trade touchdowns in the first overtime period and field goals in the second. The Wildcats had the ball first in the final overtime period, scoring on a 31-yard touchdown pass by Hubener to Kody Cook while the two-point conversion attempt, a requirement starting in the third overtime, failed.
Driskel’s four pass attempts in Tech’s final bid to extend or win the game all were incomplete as Kansas State escaped with the win.
Louisiana Tech returns home next week to host FIU in Conference USA action in the team’s annual RED OUT game while Kansas State has a bye before traveling to Oklahoma State.
— Louisiana Tech Sports Information