Wildcats win 55-14 over McNeese St.
After missing the second half of last week's game with an injury, Daren Sproles was back to lead the Wildcat's rushing attack with 101 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. It was the eleventh time in 12 games he has gained over 100 yards and the junior now has over 2000 total yards in his Wildcat career.
After the game head coach Bill Snyder reviewed Sproles' performance.
"I thought he played like Daren plays but that's what you expect. You do and I do too, we just expect him to be a pretty good player when he's out there."
Quarterback Ell Roberson gained 100 yards (37 rushing, 67 passing) by going 3 for 6 in the air with one touchdown and carrying the ball five times. Roberson left the game in the second quarter with an injury to his left hand and did not play in the second half.
"I didn't want to put him in the position of having to come back into the game," head coach Bill Snyder said.
Snyder added that his team must be able to carry on when faced with adversities like injuries. "If we can't handle things like that then we're in for a long haul. Whoever it is, if somebody gets dinged up, somebody's got to step up and play."
Safety Rashad Washington led the KSU defense by grabbing two interceptions and returning one of them 45 yards for a score. He also shined on special teams by blocking a punt in the third quarter. Linebacker Brandon Archer recovered the ball deep inside McNeese State territory and second-team quarterback Jeff Schwinn scored on a one-yard dive one play later.
Snyder was pleased with the big-play performance of the special teams but wants to see more consistency.
"I don't expect that (blocking a punt) every game but somehow we've got to get plays like that in our special teams week in and week out." Snyder said. "Those are big plays in ball games that make a substantial difference."
Washington wasn't the only special team player to have a special night. Junior kicker Joe Rheem set a new personal record with a 44-yard field goal and went 2-3 on the night. He also made all 7 of his point after attempts.
The Wildcats came ready to play and it showed. They got on the scoreboard with a 40-yard field goal by Rheem at the 11:29 mark in the first quarter. The drive featured Sporles, who rushed for 25 yards on the game's first play.
After forcing McNeese St. to go three and out, Roberson connected with wide receiver James Terry for a 43-yard touchdown on the next play. Terry celebrated his twenty second birthday Saturday and showed once again why he is K-State's top receiver by catching four passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.
With less than 2 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Cats took a 17-0 lead when Roberson optioned to Sproles who then scampered 34 yards around the left corner for his only touchdown.
When McNeese St. got the ball back, K-State kept scoring. Two plays into the Cowboy's next drive Washington picked off a pass and weaved his way into the endzone. McNeese St. was forced to go three and out on their next series and when they tried to punt, line backer Maurice Thurmond blocked the kick and it was recovered by David Rose for a touchdown. The score was 31-0 and there was 14:15 remaining in the first half.
The Cats wouldn't score again until half way through the third quarter when Schwinn plunged in from one yard out following Washington's blocked punt.
The Cowboys did score two touchdowns on the night but K-State scored two more touchdowns of their own to keep the score lopsided.
Two redshirt freshman scored the last two touchdowns of the game as quarterback Dylan Meier ran for a 15-yard score with 4:03 left in the game and running back Donnie Anders outran the defense for an 11-yard touchdown with 2:43 remaining.
The win improves the Wildcat's record to 3-0 and extends their winning streak to 9 games. Next Saturday the Cats face the Massachusetts Minutemen at 1:10 p.m. in Manhattan.
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