Wildcats Fire on All Cylinders in 45-13 Win
An exciting game from start to finish - from junior defensive back Morgan Burns' first-quarter interception to senior wide receiver Curry Sexton's fourth quarter one-handed touchdown catch - last night both sides of the ball showed up ready to play.
Continuing success in Big 12 play, K-State senior quarterback Jake Waters recorded 105 yards rushing and 290 yards throwing. Proving himself one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the conference, last night's game marked the second time this season Waters both rushed for 100-plus yards and threw for 200-plus yards - this first time he recorded numbers like that was in K-State's 32-38 win at Iowa State.
"Jake's been playing really well for us," said senior offensive lineman B.J. Finney. "He's been making big plays when we need him to, and he's been doing a really good job leading the offense and that shows. He truly cares about his game. He's been working to improve and it's showing."
Overall last night Waters went 24-of-31 for 290 yards and four touchdowns while rushing 17 times for 105 yards and one touchdown. He said getting into a groove on his home turf is, well, just a lot of fun.
"It was really fun, it seemed like we were clicking so well on offense," said Waters after the game. "Running, passing, and seeing holes open and develop tonight, I want to get like that every game. I was definitely clicking tonight and it's a special feeling when you get that going."
Adding to the excitement, senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett broke records and climbed charts with his 125 receiving yard and two-touchdown performance.
Last night marked Lockett's 11th game recording 100-plus receiving yards, an accomplishment marking a new K-State football record. His two touchdowns put him at 21 total career touchdowns and moved him into third place all-time (surging ahead of Jordy Nelson, 2005-07) in K-State history. Lockett's father, Kevin, tops the charts with 3,032 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns during his Wildcat career (1993-96) - 438 yards and five touchdowns ahead of his son.
Yet as Lockett continues to break records and climb the K-State football charts, he said there's nothing more fun than a game where - like last night - the players around him are also performing to their max.
"We're starting to play more relaxed, we understand the game, we know what we're doing and we know our assignments," began Lockett. "Now it's just going out there, playing and having fun. I think that when you go out there you play and have fun, everything else takes its course. Everybody celebrated Curry's (Sexton) first touchdown, then we turned around and Jake had a touchdown and everybody is excited again. I think being there for each other, being team players, I think that says a lot for our offense."
Sexton also recorded a career night as he finished the game with a career-high 128 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Sexton's second touchdown of the evening - a 3-yard pass from Waters into the end zone - came by way of a one-handed catch so impressive it came in as No. 3 on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 plays last night.
"We take what the defense gives us. It doesn't matter to me if I get statistics or not," said Sexton modestly when asked about scoring his first touchdowns since 2012. "Our coaches call plays that work, and if I'm called upon I'll do my best to try and make a play."
While the offensive effort was made up of stellar individual performances, so was the team's effort on defense.
Despite letting the Red Raiders drive the ball into the red zone during the game's opening drive, an interception in the end zone by Burns swung the momentum back into K-State's favor.
"I was just making sure he didn't get the inside route, I turned around and the ball was coming towards me and it was in my hands," said Burns when asked to describe his first interception. "It happened so fast, I couldn't tell you exactly what happened, but it was just discipline of being in the right place. That's what happened."
And it wouldn't be Burns only interception as, in the fourth quarter, he picked off Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb again.
Along with Burns, junior defensive back Travis Green also recorded two interceptions, while senior linebacker Jonathan Truman led the team with nine tackles. The Wildcat defense held Texas Tech to the least amount of points scored since Nov. 11, 2011 (in a 66-6 loss to Oklahoma State) and, overall, held the Red Raiders to 347 offensive yards.
"I just think that it goes to show what our preparation is throughout the week," explained Truman. "No matter what team we're facing, we just have to prepare for what they do and play well when the time comes."
After a bye week this coming weekend, K-State football will hit the road for Norman, Oklahoma, where it will take on the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
For a complete recap, quotes, photos and more from last night's game, click here.
VOLLEYBALL SWEEPS TEXAS TECH ON THE ROAD
The K-State volleyball team picked up its second Big 12 road win in a row, behind double-digit kills by Kylee Zumach and Katie Reininger as the Wildcats swept Texas Tech, 3-0 (27-25, 25-18, 25-22), on Saturday in the United Supermarkets Arena.
Zumach led all Wildcats (15-2, 2-1 Big 12) with 15 kills, including seven in the first set to help the Wildcats overcome a double-digit deficit, while Reininger had 11 kills to go with her four blocks.
To continue reading about K-State volleyball's win, click here.