The K-State football team came out of the tunnel in the north end zone in unison, moving step for step in a slow march on Fort Riley Day, the annual opening-day celebration to honor the military. The march continued for several hours afterward. Josh Freeman went 25 of 36 for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns, James Johnson had 15 rushes for 111 yards and K-State rolled to a 34-14 win against San Jose State (0-2) Saturday night at Snyder Family Stadium. “It feels like the first time we’ve won in a long time,” said coach Ron Prince, referring to the team’s three-game losing streak dating back to last season. “We’re not going to begrudge any win, that’s for sure.” Freeman helped K-State to a 10-0 first-quarter lead, tossing a 15-yard strike to junior Deon Murphy.
San Jose State pulled within 10-7 on Jalal Beauchman’s 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, but K-State, behind a balanced attack, made sure the Spartans wouldn’t inch any closer. Freeman scored on a sneak play from the 1-yard line with 1:26 left in the first half, giving K-State a 17-7 halftime lead. After a scoreless third quarter, Johnson took charge. His 4-yard touchdown plunge extended K-State’s advantage to 24-7, and his 72 second-half rushing yards allowed Freeman to take much of the second half off. Johnson, who rushed only seven times for 14 yards in the season opener last week at Auburn, got the bulk of the carries for K-State this time around. Leon Patton only rushed six times, totaling 21 yards. “We like sharing the ball,” Johnson said. “The coaches just felt I was in a groove tonight so they gave me most of the carries. Me and him are not selfish with each other, we just want to see each other do their best.” Wide receiver Jordy Nelson moved into 10th place on the all-time K-State receptions list with his 11-yard catch in the third quarter. He finished with six catches for 82 yards. Murphy, who had the first-quarter touchdown reception, recorded six catches for 72 yards, and also scored on a wide receiver reverse midway through the fourth quarter to extend K-State’s lead to 34-7. K-State, which now sits at 1-1, will play Missouri State next week at 6:05 p.m. at Snyder Family Stadium.