Manhattan, Kan. – Mississippi State ran away with what became Kansas State’s worst home loss since 2015 (Oklahoma, 55-0). The Bulldogs cruised to a 31-10 victory off the legs of their quarterback and runningback.
Nick Fitzgerald was the story entering Saturday’s game, he hadn’t played in the week one win for the Bulldogs against Stephen F Austin and had national attention. Fitzgerald impressed through the air, but it was his legs that made a big presence. Kansas State’s defense feared what Fitzgerald could do and that opened lanes for Bulldogs runningback Kylin Hill.
Hill and Fitzgerald combined rushed for 370 yards with two touchdowns coming from Hill. He also had a touchdown in the receiving variety. Fitzgerald completed 11 of his 27 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
Early in the game it looked like a stereotypical Kansas State game, slow and both teams battling for separation. Mississippi State struck first with a field goal to grab the game’s first lead, but K-State kicker Blake Lynch converted his first attempt of the day to tie things at three. After that point, K-State saw a resemblance of their game against South Dakota.
Mississippi State outscored Kansas State 14-0 in the 2nd quarter and then opened up the 3rd quarter with a stop of K-State after Alex Barnes initially moved the ball well for the Wildcats. After the stop, Mississippi State got a 13 yard touchdown pass from Fitzgerald to Austin Williams to push the lead to 24-3.
Kansas State’s defense forced its first interception of the season late in the 3rd quarter when linebacker Da’Quan Patton brought heavy pressure and his presence opened up a lane for Elijah Sullivan to hit Fitzgerald as he threw. That pass ended up tipped and into the hands of defensive lineman Wyatt Hubert. The Wildcat offense took over at the Bulldog 23 and on the first offensive play, Skylar Thompson connected with Dalton Schoen on a 23 yard touchdown pass to bring Kansas State within two scores.
After the touchdown breathed life back into Kansas State, the Bulldogs were able to stop any hope they had. Hill scored his third and final touchdown of the game to push the lead back to 21 and seal the win for Mississippi State.
Up Next: Kansas State returns to Bill Snyder Family Stadium to close out the non-conference schedule for a date with the Roadrunners of UTSA. UTSA hosts Baylor at the Alamodome, Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. and will meet K-State at 3:00 p.m. next week. The Roadrunners lost their opening game of the season against former Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach and current Arizona State HC Herm Edwards, 49-7. Powercat Gameday will start at 11:00 a.m. next week, with network coverage following. You can listen to 101.5 KROCK and 1350 KMAN for coverage.
Passing: MSU: Fitzgerald-11/27, 154 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; KSU: Thompson-7/17, 86 yards, 1 TD; Delton-2/4, 14 yards, 1 INT
Rushing: MSU: Hill-17 carries, 211 yards, 2 TDs; Fitzgerald-19 carries, 159 yards; Gibson-3 carries, 14 yards; KSU-Barnes-17 carries, 75 yards; Thompson-12 carries, 34 yards; Delton-6 carries, 4 yards
Receiving: MSU: Guidry-2 rec, 42 yards; Johnson-2 rec, 37 yards; Jones-1 rec, 21 yards; Hill-1 rec, 16 yards; Williams-1 rec, 13 yards; 4 players with 1 rec for under 10 yards each; KSU: Schoen-2 rec, 34 yards, 1 TD; Warmack-2 rec, 21 yards; Barnes-2 rec, 19 yards; Zuber-2 rec, 11 yards; Reuter-1 rec, 15 yards
Kicking: MSU: Christmann-Made FGs: 30, Missed FGs: 44, 4/4 XPs; KSU: Lynch-Made FGs: 26, Missed FGs 52, 1/1 XPs