AMES, IOWA — A costly drop on the Iowa State sideline by star wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson allowed Kansas State’s offense to put ice on a frosty night in Iowa with a 10-9 win over arch-rival Iowa State.
Adrian Martinez was able to secure the win for the Wildcats by running for nine yards to get to the Iowa State 38-yard line while passing the line to gain.
But it was the Kansas State defense that deserves most of the credit for the Wildcats moving to 3-0 in Big 12 play, which keeps them atop the league’s standings. The Wildcat defense held Iowa State’s offense to just 276 total yards on the game and held the Cyclones to just 78 rushing yards on the evening.
Kansas State’s Josh Hayes played a strong game in the secondary by leading the Wildcat defense with 11 tackles, including eight solo tackles and a tackle for loss with a pass breakup.
CATS DON’T RUN FREE
Kansas State’s offense ran wild over Oklahoma and Texas Tech in their two Big 12 victories to start the season. But Iowa State came into the game allowing less than three yards per carry and held their opponents to less than 100 rushing yards per game
The Cyclone defense held strong to their billing against Kansas State — the Big 12’s best rushing offense — by holding the Wildcats to just 131 rushing yards on the night. Deuce Vaughn was held to just 23 yards on 10carries on the night, but he was hampered with an injury in the fourth quarter which limited his opportunities to run the ball in the final quarter of the game.
Wildcat quarterback Adrian Martinez had run for more than 300 total yards combined in the last two games, but he was trapped in the backfield for much of the game and ended with 77 yards on the night rushing.
Kansas State was on the positive and negative side of two plays in the first half, and both were highly critical in the result of the game.
On the Wildcats’ first offensive drive of the game, Adrian Martinez faced pressure in the backfield but was able to evade tacklers before finding wide receiver Phillip Brooks downfield. Brooks hauled in Martinez’s pass and then broke a tackle before scampering 81 yards into the end zone to put Kansas State up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Martinez almost made magic happen again when. he was able to extend a play before finding Malik Knowles downfield. Knowles then broke free all the way down to the goal line before Iowa State defensive back Anthony Johnson was able to punch the ball out. After a brief scramble in the end zone, Iowa State recovered the fumble, which prevented Kansas State from taking 14-6 lead in the final several minutes before halftime.
KHALID DUKE EXITS WITH INJURY
Kansas State rusher Khalid Duke exited the game in the first quarter with an injury. Duke was tended to by trainers on the field for what looked like an injury to his lower half. Duke went to the sideline after the injury and did not appear in the game again.
Last week against Texas Tech, Duke had three sacks and was rewarded by the Big 12 Conference for his efforts by being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Duke tore his ACL a year ago in the Wildcats game vs. Nevada and missed the rest of the season. He was severely limited during training camp as he continued to rehab his knee.
Kansas State now enters their lone idle week of the season. After the week with no game, the Wildcats return to play by traveling to TCU for a battle with the currently undefeated Horned Frogs.
TCU plays Oklahoma State next week in what is the biggest Big 12 game to date this season.