STARKVILLE, Miss. — Skylar Thompson only threw one touchdown pass in Kansas State’s 31-24 road win at Mississippi State, but boy was it a big one.
With 5:37 left in the fourth quarter and the game tied 24-24, Thompson rolled out and found Dalton Schoen wide open in the right side of the end zone and hit him with a 15-yard pass that would ultimately stand as the game-winner.
“He lives for those moments,” KSU head coach Chris Klieman said. “He’s prepared for that moment.”
Thompson threw for 123 yards on 10-of-18 passing and managed to keep the Wildcat offense from crumbling under the pressure of self-inflicted wounds and a hostile crowd. It is the first time Kansas State has beaten a Power Five nonconference team on the road since 2011.
“I thought he did a great job of staying calm under a lot of pressure,” Klieman said. “I think we were running the football pretty successfully in the first half, and I think in the second half they decided they were going to find a way to bring pressure.”
KSU (3-0) led 17-14 at halftime but trailed 24-17 in the fourth quarter. Then a 100-yard Malik Knowles kickoff return tied the game, and Thompson’s touchdown pass gave the Wildcats a 7-point lead.
MSU (2-1) drove 55 yards on their final meaningful possession, but ultimately turned the ball over on downs at the Kansas State 20-yard line, one yard short of the first-down marker.
“The guys just never quit,” Klieman said. “It was hot out there and we played a ton of bodies, had guys cramping up, but one thing we talked about was finishing the game and they did that. The guys were really excited about playing this game.”