STILLWATER, Okla. — Kansas State already is down one quarterback. That number might be two after Saturday’s 31-20 loss at Oklahoma State.
Will Howard, the sophomore who replaced injured starter Skylar Thompson, suffered an undisclosed injury in the first quarter of Saturday’s game.
Howard played the entirety of the opening period before Jaren Lewis came on in relief. Lewis then manned the second quarter before Howard returned to begin the third period. He left in the third quarter and Lewis finished the game.
“He got hurt in the first half,” Klieman said. “And then at halftime, they did some things to work on him. He tried to go in the second half and he just couldn’t. He couldn’t run the way that he needed to run.”
Howard passed for 50 yards, but completed just 33.3% (4-for-12) of his attempts. He led the Wildcats in rushing yards, tallying 28 on three carries.
The highlight of the contest for Howard came on the third play: he ran for 37 yards before being knocked out of bounds at Oklahoma State’s 35-yard line.
“Obviously on that first series, you saw that we were able to get some quarterback-run game going,” Klieman said.
As soon as Howard exited, however, things changed.
“When we lost Will, it really took away some of the play-calling that ‘Mess’ (offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham) was wanting to do,” Klieman said, “because that is Will’s forte and not as much Jaren’s.”
Prior to the injury affecting Howard’s play, Klieman said he saw “some really good things” from the Pennsylvania native.
“He had a great first drive. I thought he (threw) a couple balls that had an opportunity for 50/50 catches, and maybe we get seven (points) there,” Klieman said. “Their guy made a couple good plays. But I thought Will saw the field well, had good confidence, and that drive, whatever it was, 13 plays — it was in that drive he got hit.”
Klieman did not provide specifics on Howard’s injury, nor a timetable for how much time he may miss.
Lewis said Howard wasn’t distraught on the sideline, though.
“I think he’s doing great. I talked to him throughout the whole game,” Lewis said. “His mental (state) was great. We exchanged great conversations.”