K-State crushes Bowling Green 52-0 in second home game

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Freshman wide receiver Malik Knowles catches the ball and runs it in for a touchdown during K-State's football game against Bowling Green in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019. The Wildcats dominated the Falcons 52-0. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Wildcats kept the momentum rolling in week two with another dominating win, this time a 52-0 rout of Bowling Green at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday.

The Wildcats were extremely efficient in Saturday’s game, going six for six in the red zone and possessing the ball for 42:52. Junior quarterback Skylar Thompson was spectacular in the win, going 10-13 for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

K-State opened the game with an eight-play drive that ended in a field goal. After a three-and-out, the Wildcats followed it up with a drive, capped off by a 50-yard touchdown by senior running back Jordon Brown to put K-State up 10-0 early in the game.

The Wildcats brought the energy early in the ballgame and put the pressure on Bowling Green from the start.

“I challenged the guys this week to improve upon what they did in week one,” K-State head coach Chris Klieman said in the post-game press conference. “In particular this morning to get the fight started quickly and jump on them from the start.”

K-State did just that from the opening kick and continued it until the final whistle.

Senior running back James Gilbert ended the first quarter with a 17-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats up 17-0.

K-State had good field position immediately following the touchdown, leading to another quick touchdown run by junior running back Harry Trotter, putting the score at 24-0.

The K-State offense kept rolling the next drive. James Gilbert headlined a six-play 74-yard drive with a 51-yard run followed by a five-yard run touchdown to put the Wildcats up 31-0.

The Wildcats did not slow down and went for it on fourth and three the next time they had the ball. Thompson took a shot to redshirt freshman Malik Knowles in the endzone with a 34-yard pass from Thompson to Knowles to extend the K-State lead 38-0.

K-State held the Bowling Green offense to 82 total yards in the first half. The K-State offense was able to collect 372 yards in the half.

K-State came out of the locker room and continued to dominate after getting the ball off another three and out. The Wildcats extended the lead to 45-0 with another touchdown pass from Thompson to Knowles.

Knowles had a couple of dropped passes in the season opener last week, but bounced back and had five catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

After the game red-shirt freshman John Holcombe Jr. talked about Knowles and the confidence the quarterback core has in the wide receiver.

“We feel that he is one of the best athletes on the team, one of our better receivers we have on the team,” Holcombe said. “We instill trust in him knowing that he is going to go out there and run the right route.”

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Junior Running Back Harry Trotter takes the ball to the ground as he's tackled by Bowling Green players. The Wildcats won 52-0 in their second dominating win of the season.
(Dalton Wainscott | Collegian Media Group)

The lone mistake of the game was on a muffed punt by redshirt freshman Phillip Brooks to give Bowling Green a drive at the K-State’s 22-yard line, but the Wildcats got the ball back with a forced fumble on a sack by red-shirt freshman linebacker Daniel Green that was recovered by true freshman linebacker Khalid Duke.

The K-State defense was only on the field for 17:08 and recorded six tackles for loss, accumulating 25 yards including a sack-fumble. The Wildcat defense also forced five quarterback hurries and shut out Bowling Green.

“As a defensive player that’s what you want, you want to keep that zero on the board, and for us to do that, it’s just amazing,” senior defensive end Reggie Walker said postgame.

Holcombe and sophomore quarterback Nick Ast saw action in the final two quarters for the Wildcats. Ast went 3-3 for 28 yards, and Holcombe went 1-3 for nine yards with 23 rush yards.

The Wildcats added in the fourth quarter after a 14 play, 68-yard touchdown drive that ended with a five-yard run by true freshman running back Joe Ervin to put the Wildcats up 52-0.

The running game was lights-out once again with four players finding the end zone, including Gilbert, who rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

“We’ve got a great offensive line so let’s give the credit to those guys, but I was pleased with our backs today,” Klieman said.

K-State has accumulated over 500 yards for the second week in a row, the first time they have done that in the first two games of season, and will look to keep the offensive momentum rolling.

The Wildcats will go on the road for the first time this season with a matchup against Mississippi State next Saturday at 11 a.m. on the ESPN network.

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