Sep 7, 2013
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MANHATTAN, Kan. - The Kansas State Wildcats rebounded in a big way with a 48-27 throttling of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.
A suddenly pass-first Wildcat offense saw its two-headed quarterback attack in junior Jake Waters and sophomore Daniel Sams lead K-State to its first victory of the 2013 season.
Waters, making his second career start, once again shined as he connected with 7 different receivers for 278 yards and 1 rushing touchdown. The community college transfer became the first K-State quarterback to post back-to-back 250-plus yard efforts to open a season since current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Josh Freeman accomplished the feat in 2007.
The other head of the attack, Sams, was the Wildcats’ leading rusher accumulating 63 yards on 8 carries to go with 27 yards through the air. His 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter put the Wildcats up 17-3 and was his second-straight game with a rushing touchdown.
For K-State, the receiving corps played exceptionally well. Junior receiver Tyler Lockett led the team with 8 catches for 111 yards – his second-straight game topping the century mark, while wideout Curry Sexton nearly totaled his last year’s total for receptions (7) with 6 for 46 yards. Rounding out the trio was Tramaine Thompson, who had a 94-yard kickoff return score to go along with 46 yards on 2 catches.
The contest was tied early at 3-3, but the Wildcats poured on 31 unanswered points to make it 34-3.
Thompson opened up the second half with a bang with a 94-yard kickoff return for a score to make it 27-3 – K-State’s nation-leading ninth-straight year with a kickoff return for a score. He followed up that effort on the next drive with a 79-yard punt return that led to a one-yard plunge by Waters.
Louisiana made things interesting in the second half as wideout Darryl Surgent answered Waters’ touchdown with a school-record 100-yard touchdown kickoff return. The Cajuns followed up the return with Dominick Jones picking off an errant Waters’ pass and returning it to the Kansas State 17. Louisiana capitalized on the short field as quarterback Terrance Broadway scored from four yards out to make the score 34-17.
Forcing K-State’s first punt of the night on the following drive, the Cajuns looked poised to get themselves back into the game. Preseason All-American safety Ty Zimmerman quickly put those thoughts to bed as he turned Broadway’s 14th pass attempt of the night into a 32-yard interception return.
Louisiana refused to roll over though as they would tally two unanswered scores. An 18-yard connection from Broadway to wideout Jamal Robinson made it 41-27 and Stephen Brauchle’s second field goal of the night got the Cajuns within 14, the closest they’d get to cutting the Wildcats’ lead.
K-State answered Brauchle’s field goal with a seven play drive that ended with 2-yard TD run by John Hubert to make it 48-27. Sams started the drive and reinvigorated the Wildcat offense, accounting for 51 of the drive’s 65 yards.
Despite the final score, the Wildcats started off slow as their first drive stalled inside the red zone following a substitution infraction penalty and ended with a 29-yard Jack Cantele field goal. K-State’s second drive lasted one play as a bobbled throw from Waters to wide receiver Torell Miller resulted in a defensive back Darius Barksdale interception on K-State’s 21-yard line.
K-State’s third drive threatened to once again stall after a Hubert touchdown was nullified by a K-State holding penalty, but Waters quickly answered with two straight completions. Hubert finished off the drive with a 7-yard TD run to give the Wildcats a 10-3 lead.
The teams combined for 824 yards of total offense and 9 touchdowns including two touchdowns on special teams and one on the defensive side of the ball.
The Wildcats finish up their out-of-conference schedule next Saturday with a home date against Massachusetts at 6 p.m., which will air live on K-StateHD.TV.