K-State powers through to take down UCF in conference opener

Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State football secured a 44-31 victory over UCF in its Big 12 opener at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday night.

Junction City alumni DJ Giddens was the story of the game. The running back finished with 293 total yards and 4 touchdowns.

He was the first to find the endzone in the first quarter, pushing in a 1-yard touchdown to get the ‘Cats on the board.

UCF responded with a field goal and a touchdown to take the 10-7 lead to cap off the first quarter.

But then Giddens came back stronger, running in two touchdowns in the second quarter to help K-State to a 21-10 lead.

The Knights added one more touchdown before halftime, heading into the break down 21-17.

UCF regained the lead 24-21 when Timmy McClain found Kobe Hudson for a 46-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

But the Wildcats responded with a 30-yard field goal by Chris Tennant, and a rushing touchdown by Will Howard to go up 31-24 heading into the fourth quarter.

Giddens then added his fourth touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats clinched the win 44-31.

In a game where no one was sure if Howard would be playing due to injury, the quarterback finished with 319 total yards and 2 total touchdowns.

The Wildcats are now 3-1 on the season, bouncing back from their first loss to Mizzou last Saturday.

Kansas State will be on a bye week, and get back in action at Oklahoma State on Friday, October 6th at 6:30 p.m.