Defense Tallies Stellar Effort in 41-7 Win Over Iowa State
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Rocking a purple camouflage-patterned Powercat to celebrate the annual Fort Riley Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, K-State (4-4, 2-3) turned in a vintage Snyder-coached performance with a 41-7 win over the Iowa State Cyclones (1-7, 0-5). The Wildcats have now won two straight Big 12 games after starting out the conference slate winless in their first three.
K-State rebounded from a relatively quiet week on the ground against West Virginia last week as senior halfback John Hubert led a rushing attack that gashed the Cyclones for 227 yards on 48 rushes. Hubert, who is now averaging 93.67 yards per game in his past three starts, rushed for 105 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns.
K-State's offense got off to an exceptional start as junior Jake Waters started the game for the Wildcats and led a seven-play drive that ended with a 5-yard plunge into the end zone by Hubert, giving K-State a 7-0 lead. On the drive, the Wildcats' racked up 72 yards in 3:09 minutes and had two plays of 20 or more yards including a 23-yard scamper by Waters to put K-State on the Cyclones' 28-yard line.
Forcing an Iowa State punt on the ensuing drive, K-State's offense took to the field again and promptly marched down the field, cashing in three more points on a 44-yard field goal by Jack Cantele. The five play, 48-yard scoring drive was highlighted by the Cats' longest run of the season, a 54-yard jaunt by Hubert to put K-State in field goal territory.
Play hit a lull after the two quick scores by K-State as the teams traded three-and-outs well into the second quarter. Sophomore Daniel Sams broke up the minor drought, taking the reins of the offense on K-State's final drive of the first half, leading the Wildcats to take a 17-0 lead.
With three-straight three-and-outs prior to the scoring drive for K-State, Sams accounted for 56 yards of the 12-play scoring drive's 71 total yards. His drive-capping 1-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half was his eighth rushing touchdown on the season and marked the fifth game this season K-State has had multiple rushing touchdowns in a game.
The second half saw K-State's lead both balloon and remain secure as the defense turned in its second-straight stifling performance against conference competition. Forcing the Cyclones to punt six times on the day, the Wildcat defense allowed only 249 total yards.
Defensive end Ryan Mueller picked up his conference-leading seventh sack of the day to go along with seven tackles, while safety Ty Zimmerman, cornerback Dorrian Roberts and linebacker Dakorey Johnson had interceptions. For the game, Iowa State failed to find any room on the ground or through the air, averaging less than four yards per play.
K-State would add three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Both Sams and Waters combined to engineer an 11-play, 83-yard scoring drive to first give the Wildcats a 27-0 lead. Waters connected with both Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson for two big-play third down conversions, including a 27-yard hook-up with Thompson to put the Wildcats inside the Cyclones' 5-yard line on 3rd-and-15. Hubert finished off the drive on the next play with another rushing score, his seventh touchdown of the season.
Sams would later connect with Thompson, who made a sensational grab while being interfered with, for a 28-yard score to give the Wildcats a 34-0 lead. The sophomore quarterback finished the day with 111 total yards and one score on the ground and one through the air, while Waters had 157 yards on 9-of-15 passing, 32 rushing yards and one passing touchdown.
Both Lockett and Thompson finished the day with strong efforts as well. Lockett had 72 yards on 5 receptions, leading all receivers, while Thompson pitched in with 3 receptions, 71 yards and one touchdown. For Lockett, the junior's effort marked the fifth time this season he has hauled in five or more receptions in a game.
Halfback Robert Rose capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter for the Wildcats following the Roberts interception with a 9-yard touchdown to make the score 41-0.
K-State held a shutout well into the fourth quarter until a Rose fumble on the Wildcats' 10-yard line on a crushing hit by Levi Peters led to the Cyclones lone touchdown. Iowa State's DeVondrick Nealy punched it into the end zone on the ensuing play with less than four minutes left to play in the game.