Howard TD pass lifts West Virginia over Kansas State 17-16
West Virginia wide receiver Daikiel Shorts (6) is tackled by Kansas State defensive back Dante Barnett (22) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Skyler Howard threw a touchdown pass and West Virginia came from 13 points down in the second half to beat Kansas State 17-16 on Saturday in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
West Virginia is 4-0 for the first time since 2012. The Mountaineers broke a four-game losing streak to the Wildcats since joining the league that year.
Kansas State (2-2) had a chance to win it but Matthew McCrane's 43-yard field goal with 2:03 left was wide left. West Virginia got the ball at its 26 and ran out the clock.
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West Virginia was held scoreless in the first half for the first time in three seasons and finally found the end zone on Justin Crawford's 1-yard run with 13:41 left in the game.
A 31-yard punt later gave West Virginia the ball back at its 43, and Howard converted a third-down pass to Ka'Raun White at the Kansas State 9 before finding Jovon Durante in the right corner of the end zone from 7 yards out with 6:11 left for the final margin.
KANSAS STATE: The Wildcats entered the game with the nation's top defense but gave up 422 yards to the Mountaineers. Kansas State was held to 286 total yards of offense and Jesse Ertz completed 10 of 30 passes for 166 yards.
WEST VIRGINIA: The Mountaineers left plenty of points off the board. Rushel Shell fumbled the ball away at the Kansas State 3 late in the third quarter, and Josh Lambert earlier missed a 30-yard field goal. Howard had to scramble to find his receivers. He was sacked three times and completed 24 of 41 passes for 298 yards with one interception.
KANSAS STATE: Hosts Texas Tech next Saturday.
WEST VIRGINIA: Heads into a bye week before playing its first true road game of the season at Texas Tech on Oct. 15.
AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org