K-State’s defense leads the way again in UTSA win

Justin Silmon (#32), freshman running back, takes the ball past blockers and defenders during the game against the University of South Dakota on Sept. 5, 2015. (File Photo by George Walker | The Collegian)

Making his first career start, junior quarterback Joe Hubener threw for over 200 yards and made key plays for the Wildcats as they got their first ever win in the Alamodome (and first win in a dome since 1993) by defeating UTSA 30-3.

“I felt we played well defensively,” head coach Bill Snyder said to K-State Sports. “Obviously on the first drive we gave up a field goal and we’d like to get that back and have a zero on board. But collectively, I thought we played well and we played hard. I thought we played smart.”

Alongside Hubener was redshirt freshman Winston Dimel, who scored a rushing touchdown from one yard out late in the fourth quarter. However, it was a 53-yard pass from Hubener to Dimel that was the highlight of both of their days.

“He made some nice plays and had some deep balls,” Snyder said regarding Hubener’s performance. “He got some help from his receivers. He mis-threw a few balls that were short and I haven’t got that figured out yet. Outside of that he managed the offense very, very well. I thought he made good decisions in regards to what he got us into and out of. He handled the running game well. He handled his part of the running game well. Overall, he did some good things, but we still have some growth in some aspects of the passing game.”

In addition to Hubener and Dimel, the Wildcats received contributions from other skilled players, as well.

Freshmen Justin Silmon and Dalvin Warmack combined for 80 yards on the ground and a touchdown from Silmon, early in the fourth quarter.

K-State also got some help in the kicking game from senior kicker Jack Cantele, who was inserted into the game for injured sophomore kicker Matthew McCrane. Cantele made field goals from 29, 27 and 21 yards in the victory.

On defense, the Wildcats allowed their first points of the season coming off of a 51-yard field goal by Roadrunner kicker Daniel Portillo. The Wildcats have yet to allow a touchdown in the 2015 season. Aside from the field goal, the Wildcats held the potent Roadrunner offense to only 229 yards on offense including going 0-2 on fourth down conversions.

“I think we just reacted well and aligned better,” senior defensive tackle Travis Britz said to K-State Sports. “They were going mach speed that first series and like most teams they had a set of plays that they knew what they were going to do. That first series we didn’t slow them down as much as we needed to, but from the second series on we understood what they were trying to do to us, so we were able to respond faster and play faster.”

The Wildcats will head back home to finish up their non-conference slate with a matchup against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs this Saturday.