Since Bill Snyder’s return to K-State in 2009, he has not lost the Sunflower Showdown against in-state rival Kansas. On Saturday, behind a 220 yard performance from senior running back John Hubert, Snyder’s Wildcat squad pushed that winning streak to five straight over the Jayhawks, capturing a 31-10 win in Lawrence.
“A win is a win,” junior defensive end Ryan Mueller said. “It’s great to play an in-state rivalry such as Kansas and to come away with a victory was the game plan and that’s what happened.”
K-State found themselves on the scoreboard early on Saturday. Junior quarterback Jake Waters got the scoring started when he found junior tight end Zach Truillo for a 32 yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter.
After a 21-yard John Hubert touchdown run to close out the first quarter, Waters found freshman fullback Glenn Gronkowski on a similar play to extend the Wildcats lead to 21-0.
Despite the 21-point hole, Kansas showed no signs of backing down. Behind the arm of junior quarterback Jake Heaps, the Jayhawks cut into the deficit, scoring 10 unanswered points.
The Wildcats’ offense found itself in a lull from the beginning of the second quarter until nearly the end of the third. K-State would not get back onto the scoreboard until the latter part of the 3rd quarter when Waters took it in from 15 yards out.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” Snyder said. “We didn’t get ourselves into the best plays, we had some assignment errors. We just really weren’t very good.”
Turnovers plagued the Jayhawks the whole day, surrendering six to the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. K-State sophomore safety Dante Barnett was responsible for two of the six turnovers as he came away with two crucial interceptions for K-State.
“I know Dante (Barnett) has great ball skills,” junior wide receiver Tyler Lockett said about his long time teammate. “Playing with him in high school that’s one thing that we always said.”
K-State would tally one more score on the day when freshman kicker Ian Patterson added three more for the Wildcats after a 31-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter giving K-State the 31-10 lead.
In his final regular season game, John Hubert made sure to go out with a bang. Finishing with 220 yards on 30 carries with one touchdown, Hubert eclipsed his previous single game record of 166 yards against Miami in 2011. Hubert now sits in second place in school history in career rushing yards with 2,913.
“I told (Hubert) how proud I was of him,” Snyder said. “He ran extremely hard and that’s what has been important for him. He reads holes pretty well so sometimes he gets caught dancing. Today he didn’t.”
One goal for the senior running back this season was to rush for 1,000 yards on the year. In his previous two season at K-State, the 1,000 yard mark has eluded Hubert, finishing with over 900 yards each of the past two seasons. 32 yards stand in the way of Hubert getting that coveted 1,000 yards season.
Junior defensive end Ryan Mueller tied the K-State regular season record with 11.5 sacks on the season.
Senior linebacker Blake Slaughter’s 15 tackles against Kansas was the most by a K-State player since 2003.
K-State has now extended their winning streak to 39 straight games when leading opponents at halftime.