FORT WORTH, Texas — Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman had little to say about injured starting quarterback Skylar Thompson on Saturday.
Thompson, who was injured in the second quarter of last week’s 31-21 win over Texas Tech, did not travel for Saturday’s game at TCU. Freshman Will Howard moved into the lineup, helping the Wildcats top the Horned Frogs 21-14.
And that’s where Klieman wanted the focus to be during his postgame press conference: on the win, and the players who participated, not Thompson.
“We’ll talk about Skylar on Monday,” Klieman said. “He wasn’t available.”
Howard called it “a blessing” to be in the lineup for the first time as a collegian. He just didn’t like the circumstances that transpired that brought it to pass.
“It kind of sucks how it happened with Skylar,” Howard said, “but we’re hoping he’s going to get better.”
When Thompson returned to the field after halftime against Texas Tech, his right arm was in a sling; he throws right-handed. The only clarity Klieman has provided about the injury is that Thompson did not suffer any fractures.
During his abbreviated appearance against the Red Raiders last week, Thompson became only the second K-State quarterback in history to eclipse 5,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in his career, joining Ell Roberson. In K-State’s 38-35 win at then-No. 3 Oklahoma last month, Thompson became the first Wildcat signal-caller to defeat three teams ranked in the Associated Press top 10 during his career.
Dating back to his redshirt freshman campaign in 2017, Thompson has made 30 starts for K-State. That’s third-most among Wildcat signal-callers since 1990, trailing only Roberson (32) and Josh Freeman (31 from 2006 to 2008).
Thompson ranks in the top 10 in K-State history in 14 all-time categories, including top-five marks in completion percentage (4th; 59.82), passing efficiency (fifth; 136.0) completions (fifth; 390), rushing yards by a quarterback (fifth; 1,083), rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (fifth; 22) and total offensive yardage (fifth; 6,104).
Beyond pure numbers, Thompson also has proven cool in clutch moments.
Thompson has engineered five game-tying or game-winning drives in the fourth quarter (or later) with the Wildcats, the second-best tally among K-State quarterbacks since 1990. Only K-State great — and current quarterbacks coach — Collin Klein has more; Klein led six such drives during his time as K-State’s quarterback, with five in the 2011 season alone.
Thompson has thrown for 626 yards and four touchdowns (against no interceptions) this season. He’s completing his passing attempts at a 62.5% clip (40-for-64). Thompson also has 38 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. His three scores on the ground are tied for the team high this fall along with freshman running back Deuce Vaughn.