Manhattan, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–There was no doubt coming in that Kansas State was the prohibitive favorite against Charlotte. As a 35-point favorite, the No. 19 Wildcats went to work early and often, and cruised to a 55-7 win over the 49ers in front of the 35th straight sell out crowd at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
K-State scored 21 first quarter points, and started with an 11-play drive that ended in a Winston Dimel five-yard touchdown run to give the Cats an early 7-0 lead after the Matthew McCrane PAT. On the second series, it was Jesse Ertz on a 35-yard run to give K-State a 14-0 lead with 5:21 left in the first quarter. Three snaps later, it was defensive touchdown for the Wildcats, as Kendall Adams recorded his first pick-six with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown to give them a 21-0 lead with 3:58 left in the period. A Charlotte 66-yard kickoff return gave the 49ers the ball at the K-State 20. On third down, quarterback Hasaan Klugh scored on a 19-yard run with 2:17 left in the opening quarter to pull Charlotte to within 21-7 with the Nigel Macauley kick.
The Wildcats capped off an 18-play drive that took almost nine minutes for their next score. A Matthew McCrane 22-yard field goal gave K-State a 24-7 lead. K-State’s defense would not be finished scoring. It was Kendall Adams again, as he took a backward lateral pass that went off the back of a Charlotte running back, and took it 46 yards to the end zone to push the lead to 31-6 with 4:18 remaining in the half. The Wildcats weren’t done yet. Alex Barnes capped off the first half scoring with a four-yard run with seven seconds left in the first half to give them a 38-7 halftime lead.
On K-State’s opening drive of the half, it was Dalvin Warmack who scored from 13-yards out to push the lead to 45-7 with 11:13 remaining in the third quarter. McCrane would connect on a 24-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the period to extend the lead to 48-7.
The final score of the afternoon was a punishing one. Mike McCoy scored from 15 yards out with 8:12 left to cap the scoring at 55-7 Kansas State. McCoy would run over the safety on his way to the end zone.
Jesse Ertz was 16-21 for 178 yards. His leading receiver was Isaiah Zuber, who caught seven passes for 73 yards. Alex Barnes led the Wildcats in rushing with 99 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown, all in the first half. Kansas State rushed for 304 yards and had a total of 493 yards.
Hassan Klugh was 8-19 passing for only 33 yards with an interception. He was also their leading rusher with 33 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Overall, Charlotte passed for 58 yards and had a total of 168 yards of offense.
Kansas State was plus-three in the turnover margin and are plus-six for the season. Bill Snyder’s 204th win puts him into sole possession of the 21st most victories in FBS history. Kendall Adams became the first Wildcat to have an interception return and a fumble return for touchdowns since Dyshod Carter in 1999.
Charlotte Coach Brad Lambert made his first trip to Manhattan since being a player for Kansas State, and was four-year letterwinner in the mid-1980’s. He is tied for for first in Wildcat history in career and single-season interception return-touchdowns. Lambert is a Hoxie native. Also Matt Wallerstedt is the 49er defensive coordinator, and played for K-State in the 1980’s.
K-State will wrap up their non-conference schedule on Saturday with a road trip to SEC opponent Vanderbilt. The Cats are 2-0 on the season. Charlotte is 0-2 on the year, and will host North Carolina A&T on Saturday.
Coach Bill Snyder
Quarterback Jesse Ertz
Running Back Alex Barnes
Running Back Dalvin Warmack
Wide Receiver Isaiah Harris
Linebacker Trent Tanking
Safety Kendall Adams
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