LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Sunflower Showdown did not disappoint on Saturday evening.
Quarterback Jason Bean warmed up before the game and was dressed out, but Cole Ballard got the start.
K-State got on the board first, with Will Howard throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ben Sinnott to go up 7-0.
A few drives later, Kansas Answered back after Devin Neal escaped for a 36-yard touchdown to tie things up.
Kansas was able to take the lead on their next drive after Neal scored again, this time for a nine yard touchdown run, but the extra point was blocked and returned for two points, making the game 13-9.
The Wildcats then scored on their ensuing drive on a Howard 11-yard touchdown pass to Keagan Johnson to back up 16-13.
Kansas responded with a Ballard five-yard touchdown pass to close the half and go up 20-16.
The Jayhawks came out firing in the second half, after Ballard found Mason Fairchild on the first play of the second half for a 59-yard gain to the K-State six-yard line.
That led to a two-yard touchdown run by Neal to go up 27-16.
K-State did not go away, though. DJ Giddens scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Howard ran in a two-point conversion to make it 27-24.
Kansas through an interception on their next drive to K-State defensive back Kobe Savage. But, Kansas returned the favor a few plays later after a Mello Dotson interception.
The turning point in the game happened in the fourth quarter when Kansas muffed a punt and K-State recovered at their own 45.
K-State took advantage, scoring on a Howard 15-yard touchdown run to go up 31-27.
The Jayhawks had a shot to take the lead late in the fourth quarter with the ball at the K-State 11, but Ballard threw an interception to Beau Palmer.
Kansas did not see the ball back for the rest of the game, securing K-State’s 15th straight win over the Jayhawks.
Ballard finished 11/16 with 162 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. It was a big day for Neal, who had 18 carries for 138 yards (7.7 ypc) and three scores.
Howard went 13/24 for 165 yards with touchdowns and one interception. Giddens finished with 21 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown.
The win puts K-State at 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the conference with a chance to still win the Big 12. They will host Iowa State at home next Saturday.
Kansas falls to 7-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference. They will head on the road to face Cincinnati on Saturday.