EditorsNote: Update 1: write-thru
Defensive scores fuel rout for No. 19 Kansas State
MANHATTAN, Kan.—Kansas State welcomed a former player back to town, but it didn’t exactly treat him well.
The No. 19-ranked Wildcats (2-0) defeated Charlotte 55-7 on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and handed former defensive back Brad Lambert’s team a beatdown.
“It was good except for the game,” said Lambert, Charlotte’s head coach. “It is good to be back. A lot has changed. It is amazing what they have done here.
“Kansas State is a really, really good football team. There is a reason they are No. 19 in the country.”
The best part of the day for Lambert may have been when they showed a video highlight on the big screen of an interception he returned for a touchdown with the Wildcats in the mid-1980s.
On the field, nothing much went right for the 49ers (0-2). Safety Kendall Adams scored two defensive touchdowns in the first half to help Kansas State take a 31-point halftime lead. The Wildcats then coasted through the second half.
“A lot of guys played well,” Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said. “I don’t think (Charlotte) played as well as they’re capable. I don’t know if it was traveling or what, but I know they’re a better football team than that.”
Adams said he was just taking advantage of the opportunities in front of him. He picked off Hasaan Klugh at the Charlotte 30 and raced untouched down the left sideline to give Kansas State a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Klugh attempted a screen pass that was ruled a lateral. Adams picked up the fumble and ran 46 yards up the right sideline, giving the Wildcats a 31-7 lead.
“Coach (Tom) Hayes (K-State’s defensive coordinator) told us what the quarterback likes to do in certain situations, so we had that game plan,” he said. “I sat on the route and saw him throw it. I broke on it and ran it in.
“On the fumble, they always coach us that if it’s borderline to go ahead and pick it up and run it in.”
Kansas State has 109 nonoffensive touchdowns since 1999, the most in the nation by an FBS team. Texas came into Saturday’s action second with 93.
When your defense puts points on the board, it makes things easier for the offense.
“When you’re getting ready to go out on the field, when it’s third-and-eight or something, and all of a sudden there’s a pick-six, it starts all over again,” quarterback Jesse Ertz said. “You can’t ask for much more support than that.”
Kansas State did pretty much what it wanted against the 49ers. The Wildcats finished with 493 yards of total offensive yards (304 rushing, 189 passing), while giving up 168 yards (110 rushing, 58 passing).
Five Kansas State runners scored a rushing touchdown to go along with Adams’ two defensive scores.
“It’s not as much wanting to establish the run as much as it is trying to find out what they’re doing (defensively),” Snyder said. “I was pleased with our ability to run the ball against (a) scheme that was stacked against the run.”
Ertz was an efficient 16 of 21 for 178 yards, but no passing touchdowns. This performance came one week after he earned a school-record 319.8 passer rating with 333 passing yards and four touchdowns against Central Arkansas.
“We left a few things out there, but overall guys made plays,” Ertz said.
Running back Alex Barnes, who played only in the first half, had 99 yards rushing and a touchdown to lead the K-State offense.
Klugh was 8 of 19 for 33 yards and an interception. He scored Charlotte’s only touchdown on an acrobatic scramble, when he leaped over the defender at the goal line.
Kansas State played conservatively in the second half, outscoring the 49ers 17-0. Running back Dalvin Warmack carried seven times for 43 yards and a score in the second half. Running back Mike McCoy put the cap on the scoring with a 15-yard run.
NOTES: S Kendall Adams became the first Wildcats player since 1999 (Dyshod Carter) to have an interception return and fumble return for a touchdown in the same game. ... Charlotte LB Karrington King had four tackles on Kansas State’s opening drive. His third tackle gave him 218 in his career, establishing Charlotte’s career record. ... Charlotte coach Brad Lambert played at K-State from 1983-86. He was an All-Big Eight defensive back in 1984. ... Charlotte defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, a Manhattan, Kan., native, also played at Kansas State from 1984-87. ... Kansas State improved to 2-0 for the sixth time since Bill Snyder returned to the sideline in 2009. ... K-State is 52-3 in September home games under Snyder since 1992.