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Kansas State 45, Texas Tech 13 - Succeeding the Wrong Way

The Cats had trouble running the ball consistently against the porous Tech run defense -- and it didn't matter.

Curry's starting to steal Tyler's spotlight.
Curry's starting to steal Tyler's spotlight.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

There was a script for this game, but someone burned it on the way to the soundstage. Texas Tech was supposed to be unable to stop K-State's running game, and K-State was by no means supposed to be able to stop the Red Raiders in the air.

Neither of those things was true. The Wildcats couldn't get untracked on the ground, and while Texas Tech got passing yardage they were only able to find the end zone twice as Kansas State rolled to a 45-13 win in Manhattan.

Curry Sexton made a halfway upside-down one-handed grab with just over eleven minutes to go to put K-State back up by 25, and less than a minute later Morgan Burns intercepted a Davis Webb offering -- his second pick of the night and Webb's fourth miscue -- to effectively seal the deal. Sexton, who hauled in nine balls for 128 yards, also scored the Wildcats' first touchdown midway through the first quarter on a 48-yard catch-and-run. It was Sexton's first touchdown as a Wildcat since scoring against Miami on September 8, 2012.

The teams traded possessions for the rest of the first quarter before Jake Waters pulled a Collin Klein, sneaking through the line into space and scampering 50 yards in a footrace. A couple of plays later, Waters scored on a bootleg following a fake handoff to give the Wildcats a two-touchdown cushion.

On the next drive, Travis Green got his first interception of the night, gathering in a loose floater after Jonathan Truman tipped the ball at the line. K-State had to settle for a 27-yard Matt McCrane field goal, but the lead was 17.

Tech then mounted a successful drive, with two big plays by Tech: a 23 yard connection with Reginald Davis on the first play of the drive, and a tossback to Webb which he lofted to Jordan Davis for a 26-yard gain on the next play. Three plays later, Webb found Jakeem Grant for a 22-yard score.

After the teams traded quick possessions, K-State shrugged and came out to run the two-minute drill. Waters hit Tyler Lockett, Sexton, and Kody Cook in succession to get into the red zone. But Lockett was flagged for pass interference on a play that would have taken the Cats inside the five. Waters broke a big run to get back to the 15, then hit Lockett for a touchdown with 21 seconds left. Tech took a knee to end the half.

Getting the ball to start the second half, the Cats marched downfield, despite a sack and fumbled snap, but were stopped on 4th and one at the Texas Tech 21. Aided by a holding penalty, however, the Cats forced three-and-out. K-State drove again, aided by unsportsmanlike conduct and pass interference penalties on the Red Raiders. Waters hit Lockett from 14 yards out, putting the Wildcats up by 24 and Lockett into sole possession of third place on K-State's all-time touchdown reception list, passing Jordy Nelson.

Tech drove rather effortlessly in response, and appeared to score a touchdown on a Webb pass to Davis, but on review it was ruled that Davis did not have control when he came down. On the very next play, Webb, under duress, lobbed a ball right into the hands of Green, who notched his second pick of the evening. But Charles Jones coughed the ball up at the end of a big gain just a moment later, giving Tech the ball near midfield. Tech scored a touchdown that actually counted then, Webb hitting Grant from 19 yards out, but failed to convert the two-point try. That left K-State with an 18-point cushion.

Charles Jones got the next drive off with a couple of good carries out of the Wildcat, and then a long connection with Sexton got K-State inside the five. Waters then hit Sexton with the put-away score and Burns nabbed his second interception.

DeMarcus Robinson added to the cushion on a two-yard run after a seven-plus minute drive to nail the coffin shut.

Waters had a 24-of-31, 290 yard night with four touchdowns; he also ran for 105 on 17 carries with a score. Lockett finished with 12 catches for 125 yards and his two scores. Robinson and Jones were 17-57 and 13-65 respectively on the ground, and K-State finished with 535 yards of total offense -- 290 in the air, 245 on the ground.

Webb was 22-of-43 for 247 yards, with two scores and four interceptions. Patrick Mahomes, in garbage time, added four completions for 35 yards in five attempts. Tech only had 46 yards rushing, although that shouldn't surprise anyone. Jakeem Grant led the Tech attack with 7 catches for 90 yards and both Tech touchdowns.

The Wildcats improve to 4-1, 2-0 in the Big 12, and sit atop the conference alongside Baylor and, surprisingly, TCU. They take next week off to prepare for the critical trip to Norman on October 18.

(Ed. note: there was an overnight adjustment to the box score which added eleven rushing yards to Charles Jones' total, and consequently to K-State's rushing and total offense numbers. This article has been updated to incorporate that correction.)