Kansas State Wildcats set new standard for home dominance in shutout win over Houston

There is no shortage of words to describe just how well the Kansas State football team has played at home this season.

Impressive ... unbeatable ... dominant ... untouchable ... perfect.

Pick one. Pick them all.

After the Wildcats demolished Houston 41-0 on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, it really doesn’t matter how you choose to sum up the way they have protected their home turf this year. The results speak for themselves.

Houston coach Dana Holgorsen was so flummoxed by Saturday’s final score that he didn’t see any part of it coming.

“Our guys in the hotel were awesome,” he said. “We traveled good and had energy pregame. Then we kick it off and we were getting beat everywhere.”

Good teams tend to win at home as if their stadium is a fortress. Great teams win at home by wide margins. The Wildcats have done both in Manhattan this season. Not only are they a perfect 5-0 at home on the year, they have won those games by a cumulative score of 212-46.

For full context, here is a blow by blow rundown of those games:

  • 45-0 over Southeast Missouri State

  • 42-13 over Troy

  • 44-31 over UCF

  • 41-3 over TCU

  • 41-0 over Houston

The Wildcats have been at their best lately, winning their past two games by a combined score of 82-3 while pushing their overall record to 6-2 with a 4-1 mark in Big 12 play.

“It says a lot about the environment that we have here at Kansas State,” quarterback Will Howard said. “Every time that we have a home game that crowd makes a difference. It really does. It just gives us so much confidence as a team when we’re out there and everybody is just going crazy. We’ve been a really really good home team this year. That’s what we should be.”

To be fair, the Wildcats have been a good team everywhere lately.

Many wrote off K-State when it lost at Oklahoma State earlier this month, but it is now tied with several teams atop the conference standings with a monster game against Texas coming up next.

The Wildcats responded to that loss against the Cowboys by reeling off three straight lopsided wins against Texas Tech, TCU and Houston. Granted, none of those teams are world beaters. But no one else is dropping 40 points on them or holding them without touchdowns every week, either.

“We are playing at an exceptionally high level,” safety Kobe Savage said.

On Saturday, K-State became the first team to shut out Houston since 2000.

Howard also looked like the best version of himself by completing 15 of 17 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. DJ Giddens (96 yards and two touchdowns) and Treshaun Ward (32 yards and one touchdown) moved that ball at will on the ground. Phillip Brooks caught five passes for 83 yards and a score.

Garrett Oakley and Seth Porter both grabbed a touchdown pass for the first time in their college careers.

It felt like everything the Wildcats tried ended up working to perfection.

“I’m happy for our guys, it was a dominant performance,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said. “We challenged our guys early in the week of having that chip on our shoulder, having that edge, having that mentality every week. We didn’t want to be a roller coaster team. We wanted to continue to improve and get better. Houston’s a good team, I think we caught them today at the right time maybe. But our guys really played focused, physical football.”

Right now, K-State has as good a path to the Big 12 championship game as any other team in the conference, especially with two more home games on the schedule. Best of luck to Baylor and Iowa State when they travel to Manhattan in November.

Still, things have changed since the Wildcats lost a pair of early games. They are an improving team.

They can prove they are more than just an excellent home team in their next game at Texas.