Wildcats Find Stride in Second Half, Win at UTSA

| September 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

SAN ANTONIO — It took longer than desired and perhaps more frustration than necessary, but Kansas State made plays when it mattered and took control in the second half Saturday in a 30-3 victory over UTSA.

The Wildcats struggled offensively in the first half and was forced to rely on its defense for most of the afternoon. But its dominant effort after halftime was more than enough to move to 2-0 on the season.

“I thought we played hard and reasonably smart,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said.

Joe Hubener, starting a game at quarterback for the first time, took hit after hit in the first half as his linemen struggled to protect him. As a result, K-State failed to gain any rhythm and led just 7-3 at the break.

The Wildcats averaged less than four yards per carry in the first half, with a 53-yard connection from Hubener to Dimel setting up the only score.

On the other side of the ball, K-State’s defense dominated throughout. A week after posting more than 500 yards at No. 22 Arizona, UTSA had just 229 in its home opener.

The Roadrunners made a 51-yard field goal on their opening drive. They would not score again.

“I thought we handled their tempo reasonably well,” Snyder said. “We had good alignment, except for a couple mistakes. We have to be used to that, because we’ll see more of it.”

The Wildcats allowed UTSA to convert on just three of 14 third downs. Roadrunner quarterback Blake Bogenschutz was sacked four times.

“Holding anybody to three points, or zero like we did last week, that’s pretty good,” Snyder said.

Getting quick stops defensively allowed the K-State offense to find an identity. Wide receiver Andre Davis came up big in the passing game, finding much-needed separation from his defender. He finished with a team-best four catches and 73 yards.

Once the Wildcats stretched the field a bit, it found a consistent ground attack in Justin Silmon. With K-State leading 13-3 in the third quarter, the redshirt freshman took over and rushed for 38 yards on five carries.

The last of those carries, on the first play of the fourth quarter, resulted in a 14-yard touchdown, extending the Wildcats’ lead to 17 points.

Silmon finished the game with 40 yards on six attempts.

“We like Justin,” Snyder said. “By and large, he runs the ball well and runs downhill. He has some deceptiveness to him. That’s what we need from him.”

Hubener finished the game 12/23 passing for 243 yards, including five completions of 25 yards or more. He added 58 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Aside from missing on some short throws, he appeared to have a good gauge of the offense, and looked very strong when given time in the pocket.

Most importantly, he did not commit a turnover against a very aggressive UTSA defense.

“Joe made some nice plays and had some nice deep balls,” Snyder said. “He misfired on some shorter throws, but outside of that, he managed the offense well and made good decisions.”

K-State allowed just 68 yards of offense by UTSA in the second half, despite safety Dante Barnett missing the game due to injury. Cornerback Danzel McDaniel was on the field for the entire game after being held out last week.

The victory was K-State’s first in an indoor stadium since defeating Minnesota at the Metrodome in 1993.

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Category: Postgame Wrap up, Video

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