MANHATTAN, Kan. — New quarterback, new result for the West Virginia University football team.
Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege got his first start of the season Saturday and the junior helped lead the Mountaineers to a 24-20 win over Kansas State.
West Virginia (4-6, 2-5 Big 12) snapped a five- game losing streak and kept its slim bowl eligibility hopes alive.
K-State (6-4, 3-4 Big 12) opened the scoring on its first play from scrimmage. After the Wildcat defense forced a quick punt on WVU’s first drive, KSU quarterback Skylar Thompson hit receiver Dalton Schoen over the top for a 68-yard touchdown pass to give K-State the early lead.
The Mountaineers and Doege, however, had an answer on their next possession. Doege and the WVU offense moved the ball 75 yards on six plays, with graduate transfer receiver George Campbell bringing in a 19-yard touchdown pass. Casey Legg’s extra point tied the score at 7.
K-State added a Blake Lynch field goal to take a 10-7 lead later in the quarter, but the Mountaineers — and Campbell specifically — would strike again before the second quarter.
Doege found Campbell for a 15-yard pass on the final play of the period, and Legg’s extra point gave West Virginia a 14-10 lead.
Neither team found much success moving the ball in the second quarter before K-State added another Lynch field goal with 43 seconds to play in the half to make it 14-13. The Mountaineers did have a chance to increase the lead before the break, but after a quick drive into K-State territory Legg’s 37-yard field goal attempt was wide left as time expired.
Kansas State got the ball to start the third quarter and went right to work. The Wildcats converted two third downs along the way on a 13-play, 70-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock and ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by James Gilbert to put K-State ahead 20-14.
That score held until early in the fourth quarter, when Legg made up for his earlier miss with a 51-yard field goal to cut into the K-State lead and make the score 20-17.
WVU’s next possession appeared doomed with the Mountaineers facing third-and-22 from midfield, but Doege made an athletic play to avoid the K-State pass rush and threw a deep pass to a wide-open Bryce Wheaton for a 50-yard touchdown to put the Mountaineers ahead 24-20 with a little more than 11 minutes to play.
K-State moved the ball into WVU territory on its next possession, but Thompson’s fourth-down pass attempt was broken up by West Virginia senior quarterback Keith Washington.
The Wildcats had one last chance to win on their final possession, but the Mountaineer defense answered the call on its own half of the field when cornerback Hakeem Bailey intercepted Thompson and secured the upset victory on the road for the Mountaineers.
Doege finished the day 20 of 30 on pass attempts for 234 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
West Virginia, for the first time in a while, managed an efficient running game against K-State, finishing with 85 yards as a team with sophomore Leddie Brown leading the Mountaineers with 62 yards on 13 carries. Campbell finished as West Virginia’s leading receiver Saturday with five catches for 92 yards.
For Kansas State, Thompson completed 24 of 39 passes for 299 yards and two interceptions. James Gilbert led the Wildcats on the ground with 60 yards on 13 carries. As a team, KSU finished with 421 total yards. West Virginia, meanwhile, amassed 319.
The Mountaineers return home next Saturday for Senior Day against Oklahoma State.