Kansas State might have answered its quarterback questions in the second half of its 35-24 win against Missouri on Saturday.
Backup quarterback Alan Webb, who has started three games this season, came in for the Wildcats in the second half and combined with tailback Darren Sproles to provide the offensive energy that erased a 21-point deficit.
“I thought (Webb) did a lot of good things,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “He did a lot of athletic things and did a nice job as far as controlling whatever package was on the field.”
Webb had an inauspicious start, running the option on his first snap early in the second quarter. He ran to his left and as Missouri defenders closed in he pitched the ball backward, hitting fullback Ayo Saba in the helmet. Defensive tackle C.J. Mosley recovered the ball for the Tigers.
A stellar second half for Webb overcame that botched play.
Webb, a sophomore, ran and passed around the usually tough Missouri defense in the second half, finishing 6-of-8 passing for 111 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 52 yards on 12 attempts.
Webb and Sproles had no problem running against the Tigers in second half. After rushing for 54 yards in the first half, the Wildcats finished the game with 225 yards on the ground.
Although not known for his passing ability, Webb had connected on a short slant with Antoine Polite for his first passing touchdown to tie the game at 21 in the third and made a clutch throw in the fourth quarter to give the Wildcats the lead.
On third-and-10 from Missouri’s 20-yard line Webb threw a hard, high pass to the front of the end zone that wide receiver Jermaine Moreira jumped to catch, giving Kansas State a 28-24 lead.
An ineffective first half by starter Dylan Meier gave Webb the opportunity to lead the Wildcats.
Meier has had problems with his right shoulder all season and left the game after spending most of the first half running from Tiger defenders. Meier was 4-of-16 for 37 yards passing. Webb completed his only passing attempt of the first half for 38 yards.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he will decide who will start next week against Colorado after watching this week’s practices.
“I’m really not worried about that,” Webb said. “I’m just worried about the team’s success and winning.”
MISSOURI HONORS AL ONOFRIO: A video tribute to former Tiger coach Al Onofrio aired on the Diamond Vision screen at Memorial Stadium after the first quarter, followed by a moment of silence.
Onofrio died Friday at a hospital in Tempe, Ariz., at age 83.
After serving as an assistant coach under Dan Devine from 1958-1970, Onofrio went on to lead the Tigers from 1971-1977.
Onofrio is best known for his teams’ stunning upsets, including wins on the road against Notre Dame, Southern California and Alabama. He was 38-41 as a head coach and led his team to the Fiesta Bowl in 1972 and the Sun Bowl in 1973 when the Tigers finished the season ranked No. 17.
John Kadlec, a friend of Onofrio’s and Special Assistant to the Athletic Director said Onofrio’s talents extended beyond football.
“He was a gentleman and someone who had immeasurable honesty, trustworthiness and high principles,” Kadlec said.
CROSSETT: The Missouri punter position has been a temporary job this season.
The Tigers lost starting punter Brock Harvey because of a broken collar bone Oct. 2 against Colorado and back up Matt Hoenes held the position until Saturday’s game.
Backup placekicker and backup punter Adam Crossett took over the punting duties Saturday, becoming Missouri’s third punter this season.
Pinkel did not say why he replaced Hoenes, who struggled last week against Nebraska and dropped a snap, resulting in a Cornhusker fumble recovery and touchdown.
Although he looked shaky early, Crossett boomed two long punts in the second half with the wind at his back and averaged 44.3 yards on six attempts.
MILESTONES: Several Missouri players achieved career milestones on Saturday.
Quarterback Brad Smith had two touchdown passes, moving into first place on the all-time career list at Missouri with 41. Jeff Handy held the old record with 39.
Thomson Omboga’s had four receptions, giving him 121 in his career, the fourth-best in school history.
Also, after seeing considerable playing time this season, tailback Marcus Woods made it into the end zone for the first time, scoring a touchdown on a 21-yard run in the first quarter.