For the second week in a row, a defensive player stole the show for No. 19 Kansas State. Cornerback D.J. Reed passed the torch to safety Kendall Adams on Saturday as the Wildcats rolled Charlotte, 55-7, and moved to 2-0 on the season.
Adams scored two touchdowns in the first half, on an interception return and on a returned backward pass, to help K-State open up a dominant 38-7 lead by halftime.
“A lot of guys played well,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “Whether it was consistently throughout the ballgame remains to be seen. But we did some good things.”
The Wildcat offense slowly and calmly did whatever it wanted to do, especially early. K-State scored on all four of its drives in the first half, averaging seven yards per play.
Jesse Ertz’s day was over by the fourth quarter. He completed 16 of 21 passes for 178 yards, while rushing for 76 yards and a score on 13 carries.
“What I was pleased with was our ability to run the ball, even against schemes that are designed to stop it,” Snyder said. “I thought we did very well with that.”
With 3:48 left in the first quarter, Adams stepped into the passing lane of Charlotte quarterback Hasaan Klugh and glided 30 yards for a score. Two drives later, Adams scooped up a deflected lateral pass and returned it 46 yards for another.
It marked the first time since 1999 that a K-State player scored on an interception return and fumble return in the same game.
“He did played well today, and it wasn’t just the turnovers that he was invested in,” Snyder said. “He did a nice job in the other elements of the game as well.”
Charlotte’s highlights of the game were limited to a 5-minute span late in the first quarter. After Adams’ pick-six made it 21-0, the 49ers returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards. Charlotte quarterback Hasaan Klugh scored three plays later on a 19-yard run.
Alex Barnes led the Wildcats’ ground attack with 99 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. As a team, K-State totaled 304 rushing yards, compared to 186 in the season opener.
Receiver Byron Pringle, running back Justin Silmon and cornerback Duke Shelley were notable players who did not see the field against Charlotte. All three were in pads on the sideline, and Snyder said he hopes to have them available next week.
Next week, K-State will hit the road for the first time this season. The Wildcats face Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.