Fort Riley Days at Kansas State Football games are always special. It’s a day when Kansas State University celebrates its close bond with the Army post and the Men and Women who defend America’s Freedom. The 2013 edition of Fort Riley Day took on a little extra meaning when the Wildcat Football players walked into their dressing room before the start of Saturday’s game against Iowa State and found a slight alteration to their uniform….Camouflage decals on the Powercat that adorns both sides of the helmet. While many other teams in the Big 12 and across the nation have a new uniform just about every week these days, a change like this is news in Manhattan as coach Bill Snyder generally refrains from trendy field attire.
While Coach Snyder and the players acknowledged the special decals gave the team a spark, Kansas State played just about a complete game on Saturday as they pulled away from the Cyclones 41-7 before a sellout crowd of 52,542 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Iowa State took the opening possession and moved the ball all the way down to the Wildcat 35-yard line, but rather than attempt a Field Goal into a stiff Northwest wind, the Cyclones elected to go for it on fourth down but came up two yards short allowing K-State to take over at its own 28-yard line.
The Wildcats then moved 72 yards in seven plays, capping the drive off on a nine-yard run by Running Back John Hubert and a 7-0 lead. After stopping Iowa State on its next drive, the Cats took over again and a 54-yard run by Hubert set up a 44-yard Jack Cantele Field Goal to make the score 10-0. For much of the rest of the first half, the Offense appeared to stall at times but knowing they would get the ball first to start the second half Kansas State wanted to rack up one more score before halftime. The Wildcats did just that with 41 seconds remaining in the second quarter when Quarterback Daniel Sams on his first series of the game scored from one yard out and K-State took a 17-0 lead into intermission.
K-State also scored on its first possession of the second half when Cantele struck a 42-yard Field Goal for a 20-0 advantage. Similar to last week’s game against West Virgnia, K-State put things into overdrive in the fourth quarter starting with a three-yard run by John Hubert for a 27-0 lead. On the next drive, Tramaine Thompson scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Sams on a remarkable catch while on his back in the end zone with a Cyclone defender blanketing him. Pass interference was called but the penalty was declined thanks to the touchdown and K-State enjoyed a 34-0 lead. The Wildcats extended the margin to 41-0 when Robert Rose scored his second touchdown of the season just three plays after a Dorrian Roberts interception. Rose was later shaken up when he was hit deep in Wildcat territory and fumbled the ball giving ISU possession on the KSU 10-yard line. DeVondrick Nealy’s run from 10 yards out on the next play spoiled K-State’s bid for their first conference shutout since 2003 and provided the final score of 41-7.
Thought he didn’t see many carries in the second half, Hubert had a solid day rushing with 15 carries for 108 yards and the two scores. While he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, Quarterback Jake Waters was the leading passer completing nine of 15 attempts for 157 yards. K-State’s top two receivers shared the workload as Tyler Lockett had five catches for 72 yards and Thompson had three receptions for 71 one yards and his touchdown. The Wildcat Defense had a stellar afternoon, holding Iowa State to just 249 yards of total Offense and forcing the two interceptions and registering two Quarterback sacks.
Kansas State (4-4, 2-3) is steadily working its way back into contention for its fourth consecutive trip to a bowl game. The Wildcats will hit the road next Saturday for a tough test at Texas Tech. Kickoff at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock is set for 11 a.m.
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