K-State Stifles North Texas, 45-6

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)Josh Freeman threw two of his three touchdown passes to Brandon Banks and ran for two more scores, helping Kansas State beat North Texas 45-6 Saturday night in another easy home opener for the Wildcats.

Kansas State overpowered North Texas on both sides of the ball, scoring on six of its first seven possessions to take a 42-0 lead, holding the Mean Green to 205 total yards81 in the first half.


Freeman was quietly efficient to open his third season as Kansas State’s starter, connecting with Banks on a 30-yard touchdown in the second quarter, then on a 43-yarder to put the Wildcats up 35-0 less than a minute into the second half.


Freeman also hit Lamark Brown on 6-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter, finishing 18-for-24 for 232 yards to pass Chad May and Carl Straw for second on Kansas State’s all-time passing list (5,365). He scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and on an 8-yarder midway through the third.

 

North Texas found itself in familiar territory as well, opening the season with a lopsided loss to a Big 12 school for the fourth time in five seasons. The Mean Green lost 79-10 to Oklahoma last year, 56-7 to Texas the year before and 65-0 to the Longhorns in 2004.

North Texas at least figured to give the Wildcats some trouble defensively.

 

Running the spread in Todd Dodge’s first season as coach, the Mean Green had the nation’s 18th-best passing offense at 289.7 yards per game a year ago, with quarterback Giovanni Vizza throwing for 2,388 yards and 17 touchdowns in 10 games.

 

Kansas State manhandled North Texas from the start in this one, all but eliminating its running game, confining Vizza to throws underneath.

 

The Mean Green had poor field position most of the game, thanks to three muffed kickoff returns, and didn’t score until Vizza hit Alex Lott on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 5 seconds left in the third quarter. That score, which made it 42-6, came after Kansas State backup Carson Coffman threw an interception inside the Wildcats’ 30-yard line.


Vizza finished 16-for-29 for 100 yards.

 

The Wildcats overwhelmed North Texas on offense as well, scoring less than two minutes into the game on a 4-yard run by walk-on Keithen Valentine on the way to a 28-0 halftime lead.