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Kansas State Downs UMass

KSAL Sports - September 14, 2013 10:51 pm

~Courtesy K-State Sports Information~

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Powered by a Wildcat rushing attack that accumulated 329 yards, including 118 by halfback John Hubert, K-State romped the Massachusetts Minutemen 37-7 in front of 52,958 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday night.

K-State’s ground game, which had tallied 190 yards total on the ground its first two games of the season, got back on track thanks in large part to a strong game by Hubert as well as another solid performance from quarterback Daniel Sams.

For the second week in a row Sams sparked the K-State offense by helping them to an early 13-7 lead with his 1-yard run on fourth and goal. The sophomore, who finished the game with 77 yards on 11 carries and 89 total yards, accounted for 55 of the drive’s 75 yards including a 37-yard scamper to the Minutemen’s 4-yard line.

The 11-play drive was the beginning of a stretch that saw K-State gain 156 yards on 16 straight runs resulting in two touchdowns to make it 20-7. A 26-yard touchdown run by Robert Rose, his first career rushing score, capped the stretch emphatically.

Hubert, who had a relatively quiet start to his season, topped his season’s overall rushing total on just 18 carries while adding 50 yards receiving. The senior halfback’s 43-yard receiving touchdown late in the second quarter gave the Wildcats a 27-7 lead going into the half.

The second half started much like the first half ended with the K-State once again hitting pay dirt following a UMass three-and-out to make the score 34-7. Jake Waters faked out the Minutemen beautifully by showing run before threading the ball to freshman Glenn Gronkowski for a 50-yard score.

For Gronkowski, it was the redshirt freshman’s first career visit to the end zone and the Wildcats’ fourth straight touchdown.

Waters, after throwing for over 250 yards in back-to-back games in a combined 60 attempts, finished the game with 115 passing yards and two scores through the air. Sticking with the night’s theme, the junior signal-caller added 74 yards on the ground as well.

The Wildcats would add another three points with a 42-yard Jack Cantele field goal in the fourth to make it 37-7.

K-State ended the game scoring 31 unanswered points and tallying 456 total yards. Five different Wildcats registered a rushing attempt against a UMass rushing defense that entered the game giving up 320 yards a game.

Much like last week though, the Wildcat offense started the game slow as UMass held them to a scoreless first and actually entered the second with a 7-6 lead thanks to a 2-yard run by Stacey Bedell. Cornerback Kip Daily, who had two picks on the night, gave the Wildcats their only points of the quarter with a 38-yard interception return on the Minutemen’s opening drive.

UMass almost added three more in the first, but Travis Britz blocked a 23-yard field goal attempt by Blake Lucas to keep the deficit at one for the Wildcats.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Wildcats held the UMass offense to a lone first quarter score. Despite being on the field for 30:29 minutes, the defense forced two turnovers, five punts and a putrid 5.8 yards per pass attempt. Senior linebacker Blake Slaughter led the K-State defense with 10 total tackles.

The Wildcats will now shift their focus to the team’s first Big 12 Conference game of the season against Texas next Saturday in Austin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., as K-State will be looking to make it six straight against the Longhorns.