Manhattan, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–One year ago, Kansas State saw FBS team North Dakota State stun the Wildcats 24-21 in Manhattan. Flip the page one year later, the Cats faced another FBS team, and hoped that history didn’t repeat two straight years. Granted, Stephen F. Austin wasn’t quite the caliber of a team as the three-time national champion Bison, Kansas State didn’t take the Lumberjacks for granted. The Wildcats were able to jump out to a 21-0 lead, en route to a 55-16 thumping at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in front of the Cats’ 14th straight sellout of 52,830.
K-State used nearly five and a half minutes on their opening drive, as Jake Waters found Tyler Lockett from nine yards out to make it 7-0 Wildcats after the first quarter. Waters ended up with four total touchdowns, as he rushed for a five-yarder with 14:51 left before halftime to help the lead grow to 14-0.
In the second quarter, Charles Jones rushed 15 yards for the team’s second score of the half out of the “Wildcat” formation, to extend the lead to 21-0. Stephen F. Austin would insert backup quarterback Joe Minden in the next Lumberjack offensive series. Minden would run in from 18 yards out on a quarterback scramble with 6:57 left before halftime to cut the lead to 21-7. Waters answered with a one-yard plunge for K-State with 3:04 left before the break to push the lead to 28-7. A late Lumberjack fieldgoal made the score 28-10 at the break.
Both teams struggled out of the halftime break, as they went three and out on their opening possessions of the half. Kansas State scored first in the second half on a 22-yard pass from Waters to redshirt junior Kody Cook, to make it 35-10 Cats. K-State forced a fumble on the ensuing possession, and Charles Jones scored from four yards out three plays later to make it 42-10 with 7:41 remaining in the third frame. Stephen F. Austin moved it down the field for their last scoring drive of the game, as Gus Johnson rushed from 30 yards away to make it 42-16 Kansas State.
The Wildcats would tack on two field goals and a 15-yard touchdown pass from Joe Hubener to Steven West to make the final 55-16.
K-State showed balance in their season opener, rushing for 240 yards and passed for 238 yards. Jake Waters was 19-of-28 fro 223 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. DeMarcus Robinson was the leading receiver. Robinson caught four passes for 47 yards, and rushed for 49 yards on 11 carries. Charles Jones had two rushing touchdowns, and rushed for 55 yards on eight carries.
Stephen F. Austin saw Gus Johnson rush eight times for 26 yards and a touchdown. Zach Conque was 17-of-30 for 118 yards through the air, and the leading receiver was Aaron Thomas, who had six receptions for 85 yards. The Lumberjacks had 294 yards of total offense, 225 of those were through the air.
Kansas State will have an early Big 12 Conference game on Saturday, as they travel to Ames to face the Iowa State Cyclones at 11 am.
Coach Bill Snyder
Quarterback Jake Waters
Running Back Charles Jones
Running Back DeMarcus Robinson
Wide Receiver Kody Cook
Center BJ Finney
Defensive End Ryan Mueller
Linebacker Jonathan Truman
Defensive Back Danzel McDaniel