MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State Wildcats fell to No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs, 31-10, in front of 49,784 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday, as Mississippi State rushed for 384 total yards, including 211 yards from sophomore running back Kylin Hill to hand K-State its first defeat of the season.
The Wildcats (1-1, 0-0 Big 12) were limited to 213 yards on offense, including a 23-yard touchdown strike from sophomore quarterback Skylar Thompson to junior wide receiver Dalton Schoen in the third quarter to mark the sole K-State touchdown. Redshirt freshman defensive end Wyatt Hubert set up the score with his first-career interception and the first interception of the season for the Wildcats.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After connecting on four field goals a week ago in the first half against South Dakota, sophomore place kicker Blake Lynch picked up where he left off on Saturday, scoring the first points of the game for the Wildcats on a field goal from 26-yards out. The Lynch field goal matched the preceding Mississippi State drive, as the score was knotted 3-3 after two offensive series for each team.
On their third offensive possession of the game, the Bulldogs found the end zone on a 16-yard strike from senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald to Hill. Mississippi State led 10-3 with 14:20 left in the second quarter.
Mississippi State expanded their first-half lead with a three-play, 65-yard drive before halftime, capped off by a 28-yard touchdown rush from Hill. The Bulldogs entered the half-time break with a 17-3 lead, led by 261 yards of total offense.
In the second half, the Bulldogs found more success on the ground, as Hill found a gap and rushed for 52 yards to the K-State 13 yard-line. Mississippi State would later convert on the red-zone possession, as Fitzgerald completed a 13-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Austin Williams to bring the score to 24-3.
Later in the third quarter, Hubert came up with the team’s first interception of the season on a deflected pass in the flat, giving the Wildcats an opportunity in Mississippi State territory. On the next play from scrimmage, Thompson lofted a pass to Schoen, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown to bring the score to 24-10 with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Mississippi State increased their lead to 31-10 with a 16-yard rush from Hill for his second touchdown of the game. The Wildcats would go on to suffer their first loss of the season, as the Bulldogs came out victorious, 31-10.
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Dalton Schoen – The junior wide receiver led the Wildcats in receiving on Saturday, bringing in two passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. Schoen’s touchdown in the third quarter came from 23 yards out, giving the Wildcats their first touchdown of the game.
DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Wyatt Hubert – The redshirt freshman defensive end came up with his first-career interception and first interception of the season for the Wildcats, after Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald dumped a short pass in the flat, which was deflected and collected by Hubert. Hubert’s interception led to the first touchdown of the day for the Wildcats.
Walter Neil Jr. – Following a career-high four tackles a week ago against South Dakota, the sophomore defensive back led the Wildcats by tallying six tackles, including five individual tackles on Saturday to set a new career-high, while also adding a pass break-up.
SPECIAL TEAMS STARS OF THE GAME
Duke Shelley – The senior return man returned four kicks for 109 yards on Saturday, garnering the most all-purpose yards for K-State in the game.
STAT OF THE GAME
384 – The rushing tally by Mississippi State on Saturday are the most against K-State since October 7, 2010, when Nebraska rushed for 451 yards. Mississippi State was led by two rushers, Hill and Fitzgerald, who each rushed for over 100 yards, the first time the Wildcats allowed two opponent rushers for over 100 yards since 2015.