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Reed, Pringle spark K-State to rout of Central Arkansas

Kansas State wide receiver Byron Pringle (9) takes an Ertz pass 55 yards for a touchdown.(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Kansas State wasn’t a polished team in its season opener Saturday, but the Wildcats did show glimpses of how good they could be once they are.

Big plays from cornerback D.J. Reed and receiver Byron Pringle led the way in No. 20 K-State’s 55-19 victory over Central Arkansas at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

The Wildcats gave up 421 total yards to an experienced UCA offense that controlled the ball for almost two-thirds of the game, but showed improvement in the second half, and forced three turnovers.

One of them was an interception late in the first half by Reed, and it wasn’t even close to his biggest play of the night.

He returned the opening kickoff 96 yards to the UCA 3 yard line. Not satisfied with being held out of the end zone, he returned a punt 62 yards for a score in the second quarter. He is a perfect weapon for a program synonymous with special teams success.

“He played very well,” Snyder said. “I wish his conditioning would have been a little bit better, and we’ll work on that, but he did a nice job.”

Quarterback Jesse Ertz showed off the deep passing threat that Snyder praised during the summer. He averaged 33 yards per completion, and looked completely in-sync with Pringle. The two connected three times for 121 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Ertz exited the game after three quarters. He passed for a career-high 333 yards and four scores without an interception.

“It became obvious after a while that we weren’t running the ball,” Snyder said. “We needed to throw the ball, and we tried to take what they gave us.

“He had a few balls, maybe two or three, that he missed on. But overall I thought he threw the ball very well.”

UCA managed to keep the game respectable for most of the first half, climbing within 17-16 midway through the second quarter. The Bears used a balanced attack and continued to frustrate the Wildcat defense on third down.

But K-State’s adjustments at the half brought UCA’s upset hopes to a very swift end.

“We have to get better playing against the option, and that’s my concern right now,” Snyder said. “We’re going to practice at midnight and work on that.”

K-State outscored UCA 17-3 after halftime, and all starters were out of the game by the 10:00 mark of the fourth quarter.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson played the entire fourth quarter, which marked his collegiate debut. He did not throw a pass, but rushed for a team-high 49 yards on three carries.

The Wildcats host Charlotte next week in another dress rehearsal before a much more difficult final ten games.

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Powercat Gameday Road Locations 2016

 
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the Wildcat nation loves to travel.

So do we!

Wildcat fans gathered at Powercat Gameday in Phoenix

Wildcat fans gathered at Powercat Gameday in Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl

For every road game, the Powercat Gameday crew hand selects a prime location for the K-State family to gather on Gameday, and broadcasts the show LIVE from that spot!  Below is the road game schedule, including the establishments Powercat Gameday will set up shop, complete with directions!

Click on the Show Location for more information!

Powercat Gameday Road Schedule 2016

Date Opponent Show Location Time Address Map
9/02/16 Stanford The Old Pro 4:00p CT
541 Ramona St., Palo Alto, CA 94301
View
10/1/16 West Virginia Fat Daddy’s TBA 444B Chestnut St., Morgantown, WV 26505 View
10/15/16 Oklahoma O’Connell’s TBA 769 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73069 View
10/29/16 Iowa State Press Box TBA No Outside Location N/A
11/19/16 Baylor The Salty Dog Bar and Grill TBA 2004 N. Valley Mills Dr., Waco, TX 76710 View
12/3/16 TCU Frankie’s Sports Bar TBA 425 W 3rd St., Fort Worth, TX 76102 View
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K-State edged by No. 25 Texas, 71-70

The surprise is gone, but the frustration remains. Kansas State found itself on the verge of a big win Monday night, but fell short. Again.

This time, No. 25 Texas was the survivor at Bramlage Coliseum, 71-70.

“I don’t have much to say,” K-State coach Bruce Weber said. “We had our chances and our guys battled. I feel for our players.”

As has been the case regularly this season, poor shooting from outside was K-State’s biggest weakness, including at the final buzzer. The Wildcats made just seven shots outside the paint for the night, and Dean Wade’s potential game-winner fell short in the final seconds.

Justin Edwards scored 20 points for the first time in his Wildcat career and D.J. Johnson added 16 to lead K-State (15-13, 4-11 Big 12). Most of the game was in the shadow of the rim, and Texas constantly juggled its lineup with foul trouble.

“They got their guards and their bench to lift them up tonight,” Weber said. “We did a nice job at getting D.J. the ball, but we didn’t hit enough shots.”

The Longhorns (18-10, 9-6) led by as many as eight in the second half, before Wade led a comeback that resulted in his team getting within a point with four minutes left.

But similar to last Saturday’s loss to Kansas, and many of the team’s 11 losses to ranked teams this season, getting stops down the stretch proved to be difficult.

“We got some key (stops) to get us back in the game, but we didn’t get the key ones to finish it,” Weber said.

Isaiah Taylor led Texas with 19 points and the Longhorns made 16 of 19 free throws, despite entering the game ranked 290th nationally in that category.

K-State hits the road for its next game, a road trip to No. 17 Iowa State on Saturday.

 

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K-State Defense Stifles South Dakota in Season-Opening Shutout

By Tyler Dreiling

It took 12 seconds for Kansas State to take the lead for good against South Dakota. From that point on, how the Wildcats’ season opener is viewed depends on perspective.

K-State routed the Coyotes 34-0 Saturday night in a game that featured a hearty helping of good, bad and ugly.

“We need to make better things happen than what we showed tonight,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said.

The game started as well as it possibly could have. Morgan Burns returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, sending the sold out crowd at Bill Snyder Family Stadium into frenzy.

But just minutes later, on the Wildcats’ second offensive play, starting quarterback Jesse Ertz limped to the sideline with an apparent knee injury. A few minutes later, he was taken to the locker room on a cart. He did not return to the game.

Snyder did not offer any information on the winner of K-State’s summer-long quarterback sweepstakes.

“I feel dramatically bad for him,” Snyder said. “I have no idea right now. We’ll see how it plays out.”

Into his place stepped Joe Hubener, who was efficient throwing the ball, but not finishing drives with touchdowns. K-State led 7-0 after one quarter.

“I thought Joe was a little nervous,” Snyder said. “It took a little while to get the cobwebs off. That was true for everyone. He threw some nice balls and had some others that were dropped.”

Hubener had one promising drive halted by a fumble at the goal line, while another ended in a short Matt McCrane field goal.

Midway through the second quarter, he found his stride, connecting on some longer passes and finally getting the Wildcat offense in the endzone.

Fullback Winston Dimel capped a 5-play, 45-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 9:18 left in the first half. It was the first career score for the former Manhattan High Indian, who added another in the fourth quarter.

“It was a dream come true for me,” Dimel said. “Having lived here for 19 years, it was really special for me tonight.”

Four minutes later, Hubener connected with Deante Burton, another Manhattan product, from 24 yards out to give K-State a 24-0 lead at the halftime break.

“I felt like I did all right,” Hubener said. “There were definitely some things I wasn’t happy about. But for the most part, I handled business.

“We got the win, and that’s what matters.”

Hubener finished the game 9 of 18 passing for 147 yards, one touchdown and a fumble.

The Wildcat rushing attack was paced by freshman Justin Silmon, who set up K-State’s first offensive touchdown with three runs totalling 38 yards. He finished the game with 51 yards on just six carries.

As a team, the Wildcats finished with 332 total yards.

Defensively, it was a much cleaner performance for K-State. The Coyotes were outmanned from the beginning and never reached the Wildcat red zone.

“It was great to get a shutout,” Snyder said. “Those are hard to come by in this day and age. As iffy as we played defensively, we still managed to do that, and that’s a plus.”

Elijah Lee led K-State with six tackles, while Marquel Bryant added five, along with a crushing sack of USD quarterback Ryan Saeger.

“We can always improve,” Lee said. “We want to be more physical with the offensive linemen.”

The Wildcat defense was not spared from concerning injuries either, however. Safety Dante Barnett went down with a shoulder injury in the second quarter and did not return.

The shutout was the first in a K-State season opener since 1999, but it did not come without a host of pending questions as the Wildcats turn their attention to Texas-San Antonio next week.

“We have the capability of being a better football team,” Snyder said. “It’s that simple. There are countless things for us to correct.”

 

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K-State Football 2015: Secondary Season Preview

Led by Dante Barnett and Danzel McDaniel, the secondary is expected to be the strongest part of K-State’s defense going into the 2015 season.

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