Kansas State was on the correct side of the scoreline in a 45-0 win over SEMO, in a game that was even more of a blowout than that score suggests. On a scorcher of a day, the Wildcats repeatedly burned the opposition and put the game away long before the final whistle.
Quarterback Will Howard had a banner day, going 18/26 for 297 yards, with two scores. He also ran for another score and even caught a touchdown pass, possibly the first Kansas State signal caller to achieve this trifecta.
On a day when the offense racked up almost 600 yards, and did not have to punt once in the first half, this was pretty much the result everyone wanted. There are still some questions, of course, notably on the offensive line. But those could be explained away by first game jitters and by regularly rotating out linemen to account for the heat.
Wide receiver RJ Garcia and tight end Ben Sinnott were both key targets for Howard in this game, notching over 100 yards each in this game. Running back DJ Giddens had 128 yards on 15 carries and Treshaun Ward showed the sort of speed and shiftiness that put some of us in mind of Deuce Vaughn. Ward even threw a quick pass to set up Howard’s receiving touchdown.
This game also featured the much anticipated debut of quarterback Avery Johnson, and he did not disappoint. Taking charge of the second string, Johnson showed his impressive speed as well as some zip on the ball when he passed (not often). He was just a tiny bit out-of-bounds on his final run of the night, or the Wildcats might have passed the 50-point score target that offensive coordinator Collin Klein had set for the team.
The defense was solid, and indeed an absolute wall against the run. SEMO is an FCS team, yes, but it’s a team built to run the ball and holding that sort of offense to just six total yards is an applause-worthy feat. The secondary was mostly average, and will have to show significant improvement by the time we hit the meat of the Big 12 season.
So, in short, it’s hard to take a lot from a dominant win against an overmatched opponent, but some questions were answered and others remain. On a day when other Big 12 teams faltered, this was more than enough.
That’ll do, Cats.
At the Bob Timmons Classic in Lawrence, the women’s cross country squad won the team event for the second year in a row, finishing the 5K event with 24 points and with senior Hannah Stewart winning the race and setting a Kansas State meet record in the process.
The men’s team finished in third place in the 6K event behind Oral Roberts and ultimate champion Kansas. Junior Matthew Hauser was the top Wildcat, earning a sixth place finish with a new personal best time.
The teams will be in action again on September 16 in Terre Haute, Indiana for the John McNichols Invitational.
Kansas State (2-1-2) fell to Vanderbilt (3-0-2) in a close 1-0 match decided on a penalty kick late in the second half. The loss was especially disappointing as the Wildcats had matched the Commodores pretty evenly for much of the match on shots on goal and corner kicks.
Tonight, the team will take on Nebraska at Buser Family Park at 8 PM. This is the first match in a four-game homestand, and fans who went to the football game can get into the soccer match for just $5.
Taking the floor for the first-time ever in brand-new Morgan Family Arena, the VolleyCats scored a resounding 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) over Omaha. Kansas State is 4-0 on the season so far, giving head coach Jason Mansfield a hot start to begin his time in Manhattan. Aliyah Carter had a double-double (14 kills, 10 digs) while teammate Izzi Szulczewski led the team with 25 assists.
The team has their biggest challenge of the season coming up tonight when they take on #4 Nebraska. First serve is set for 4 PM and the match can be seen on ESPN+.