Jake Waters passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for two more scores as 20th ranked Kansas State rolled to a 55-16 win over Stephen F. Austin to begin the 2014 season before a sellout crowd of 52,830 Saturday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
K-State jumped out to a 21-0 lead with 11:13 left in the second quarter starting with a nine-yard pass from Waters to Tyler Lockett who did not play the rest of the game presumably for precautionary reasons as he has been said to be dealing with some minor injuries. Waters also scored on a five-yard run and then Running Back Charles Jones who didn’t start the game ripped off a 15-yard score out of the Wildcat formation. After the Lumberjacks used a 77-yard drive to get on the scoreboard, the Wildcats answered on a one-yard sneak by Waters which allowed K-State to go into halftime with a 28-10 lead.
Waters opened the second half scoring with his second touchdown pass of the night on a 22-yard strike to Kody Cook who made an excellent catch with a Stephen F. Austin defender draped all over him to push the lead to 35-10. Then after the Wildcats recovered a Lumberjack fumble, Jones scored for the second time from four yards out to expand K-State’s advantage to 42-10. After Stephen F. Austin scored on a 30-yard run by Gus Johnson, K-State scored the final 13 points of the night on a 43-yard Jack Cantele Field Goal, a 15-yard touchdown pass from backup Quarterback Joe Hubener to Steven West and a 38-yard Field Goal by backup kicker Matthew McCrane.
In addition to his big night passing, Waters led all rushers with 77 yards on the ground while Jones racked up 55 yards on eight carries and DeMarcus Robinson had 50 yards on 11 carries. Robinson was also the leading receiver on a relatively quiet night for the receiving corps with four receptions for 47 yards. Defensively Randall Evans led the way with five tackles, all unassisted while Johnathon Truman had four tackles, three unassisted. K-State was successful in the red zone, scoring on all seven of its opportunities inside the 20-yard line.
Kansas State (1-0) scored its most points in a season opener since racking up 66 against Indiana State in 1998 and won its 23rd season opener in the last 25 years as well as its 24th out of the last 25 at home. Next Saturday, the Wildcats open conference play with a trip to Ames to play Iowa State. The Cyclones were routed earlier Saturday at home 34-14 by three-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State, which beat the Wildcats in last year’s opener in Manhattan. Kickoff next Saturday is set for 11 a.m.
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