September 1, 2019 / 2:52 AM / 17 days ago

K-State routs Nicholls in Klieman's debut

A new era in Kansas State football began on a successful note Saturday night as the Wildcats manhandled visiting Nicholls 49-14 in the first game since coach Bill Snyder retired last winter.

Aug 31, 2019; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) waits to take the snap from Kansas State Wildcats offensive lineman Adam Holtorf (79) during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

In some ways, the Wildcats won the same way they did under the legendary Snyder, who was replaced by Chris Klieman. Three of their first-half scoring drives were over 70 yards. Meanwhile, the defense kept the Colonels to just 276 total yards.

The Wildcats amassed 361 rushing yards, their most since 1981, and finished with 573 total yards.

K-State scored on its first four possessions as it raced to a 28-0 halftime lead on touchdown runs from four different men. Harry Trotter made it from 9 yards, Skylar Thompson from 17, Jordon Brown from 14 and James Gilbert from 24.

Nicholls finally broke through in the second half on a 26-yard scoring run from Kendall Bussey, but the Wildcats would add three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make it a laugher.

Two of those touchdowns came in less than a minute to start the fourth. Thompson hooked up with a wide-open Dalton Schoen on a 38-yard touchdown pass that capped a 10-play, 97-yard drive. Seconds later, Jonathan Alexander returned a fumble 25 yards to paydirt for a 42-7 lead.

Kansas State concluded its scoring with 6:41 left in the game. Tyler Burns punched it home from the 1.

Nicholls added its second touchdown with 3:01 remaining following a Julien Gums 3-yard run.

Thompson completed 16 of 22 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown. Nicholls quarterback Chase Fourcade, meanwhile, went 10 of 18 for 126 yards and an interception.

Gilbert led Kansas State’s potent rushing attack with 115 yards as six players reached at least 30 yards rushing. Schoen led the air game with three catches for 65 yards.

Gums ran for 75 yards to lead the way for the Colonels. Dai’Jean Dixon had five catches for 92 yards.

—Field Level Media

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