Tyler Lockett outduels Kevin White as Kansas State tops WVU

Kansas State's trip to Morgantown on Thursday night to play West Virginia had plenty of College Football Playoff implications.

It was also a matchup of two of the best wide receivers in the country with the Wildcats' Tyler Lockett running routes on the same field as the Mountaineers' Kevin White.



In the end, it was the purple-and-white clad Lockett who walked out of the stadium with a 26-20 victory to keep his team's Big 12 title hopes alive.

The speedy Lockett continued to rewrite school record books by posting a 10-catch, 196-yard night through the air in which he routinely found himself open against the West Virginia secondary. He also showed why he will be high on NFL draft boards when the spring comes around by returning a punt 43 yards for a touchdown just before halftime.

White also had a quality performance, even though he didn't match Lockett's stat line. White, a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation's top wide receiver, recorded seven catches for 63 yards and a touchdown but was double-covered most of the night. As he has done all season, the physical pass-catcher was able to draw some pass interference calls during the game.

One wonders if White's numbers would have been more impressive had starting quarterback Clint Trickett not missed most of the second half with an unspecified injury. He came into Thursday sixth in the FBS in passing yards but finished just 12-of-25 for 112 yards and two interceptions. Backup Skyler Howard came in and provided an immediate spark, though, leading a touchdown drive on his first series and finishing the game with 198 yards and two touchdowns.

The K-State win had all the tell-tale signs of a Bill Snyder-coached team. Kansas State won the turnover battle and time of possession but had a very atypical one yard rushing. The good news for the team was the improved play from quarterback Jake Waters, who threw for a career-high 400 yards with a touchdown.

The win for the Wildcats does have implications for the College Football Playoff race and is widely viewed as a positive for both No. 5 TCU, which already beat Kansas State, and No. 7 Baylor, which will end its season in Waco against them. Snyder's team also has only one loss inside the league, so it continues to harbor hopes of becoming co-Big 12 champions.

That will have to sort itself out down the road, but at least for one night, the story was all about Lockett getting the better of his highly regarded West Virginia counterpart.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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