There is a new streak that is alive and well in Manhattan. It’s not as long as the one K-State Basketball had against KU until Michael Beasley and Jacob Pullen saved the day in 2008. However, this one could cause more infighting between fans. So, in this edition of Friday Five, we take a look at the last five alternate uniform combinations that K-State wore and lost in all five games.
Last win: 41-7 vs. Iowa State, 2013
Before you dive into alternate combination losses, quickly recall that the Wildcats defeated Iowa State in 2013 with different helmet decals than the purple ones they typically wear. K-State team personnel add the digital camo wrinkle to the Powercat and purple stripes down the center of the helmet.
John Hubert rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns in that game, while Tyler Lockett had five catches for more than 70 yards. It would be three years before the Wildcats tried something new on their helmets.
1. 2016: 43-37 loss vs. Oklahoma State
A back-and-forth game, in a late-afternoon fall game. Jesse Ertz threw for less than 100 yards in the game, but rushed for 153 on 30 carries and crossed the goal line three times. The Wildcats had three scoring plays before time expired, but a pass interference by Byron Pringle forced the Cats to attempt their final play at the Oklahoma State 18-yard line, which ended in an interception. This started the alternate uniform losing streak.
2. 2017: 28-23 loss vs. West Virginia
K-State returned to wearing the white camo helmet once again in 2017, even though a year after the heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma State, the helmet couldn’t get the job done in a rain-soaked game against West Virginia.
The theme of the 2017 local schedule was terrible weather, as games at TCU and Oklahoma had already been affected by delays. The game with the Mountaineers saw heavy rain throughout the game and West Virginia held the 28-20 halftime lead into the second half. K-State lost despite winning the battle of turnovers 4-2.
K-State’s leading rusher in the game was Dalvin Warmack with 96 yards.
3. 2019: 31-12 loss vs. Baylor
For the fourth time since the Powercat era began, the Wildcats decided to try an alternate look. This time adding the white pants wrinkle, to match a white helmet that mimicked the standard silver tops worn by the Wildcats.
The game with Baylor that season never felt close, as Baylor took a 24-6 lead to start the fourth quarter. The key moment of the game came with just over 11 minutes left in the third quarter, Skylar Thompson was sacked and fumbled in Baylor territory with the Cats trailing 17-3.
4. 2019: 24-20 loss vs. West Virginia
It was a good start to the redemption attempt for the white helmets and pants against West Virginia. K-State forced a triple-out on the Mountaineer’s first drive of the game and started with the ball at the 32-yard line. Skylar Thompson threw a ball, connecting with Dalton Schoen for a 68-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the game. From that point on, though, the Wildcats couldn’t keep up the momentum against a sub-.500 West Virginia team. With less than a minute to play, Thompson was picked off on second down and the Mountaineers cruised to victory.
5. 2019: 20-17 loss to Marina
K-State bounced back from the loss against West Virginia to finish the season with back-to-back wins against Texas Tech and Iowa State. Although designated as the home team in the 2019 AutoZone Liberty Bowl, K-State chose to wear their road uniform. Part of a plan to go all white if they played in a bowling game.
The game was routine, both teams fighting for ten points in the first half. The Wildcats got their first touchdown of the game on Phillip Brooks’ first punt return to score. Skylar Thompson fanned the ball as the game went on and in the fourth quarter, he found gill wykeen for 42 yards to set up an eventual rushing touchdown to tie it. However, Navy would go on to win in regulation, setting up the game-winning field goal after slipping away from a deceptive play past the Wildcat defense. Pushing the White Helmets to a career record of 0-5.
This weekend the Wildcats will feature the Willie the Wildcat logo on their helmets. On the other side of Willie is the number of the players. They will combine the new helmet design with the white pants once again, trying to break the bad timing of the alternate uniform combinations from previous seasons.