For the second week in a row, the Kansas State Wildcats turned in a dominant performance on both sides of the ball, and they have a 2-0 record to show for it heading into their sternest non-conference test.
The Wildcats outgained Bowling Green 521-140 in steamrolling their way to a 52-0 victory at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It marked the first time in program history that a Kansas State team had exceeded 500 yards of total offense in each of their first two games of a season, and the first shutout win for K-State since 2015.
“The energy and the emotion the guys played with today was what we were looking for,” said head coach Chris Klieman. “That’s a credit to our upperclassmen and leadership that they had the team ready to play.”
Most of the damage was done on the ground, with nine different Wildcats getting carries and four finding paydirt. The Wildcats ran for 333 yards and 5.7 yards per carry. Jordon Brown’s 50 yard touchdown run in the first quarter set the tone, giving K-State a 10-0 lead, but the longest run of the game belonged to James Gilbert, who took a run 51 yards in the second quarter. Gilbert ended up leading the Wildcats with 103 rushing yards on eight carries and a pair of touchdowns. Brown, Harry Trotter, and Joe Ervin also found the end zone on the ground as K-State scored on eight of their first nine possessions.
“We’ve got a great offensive line, so let’s give credit to those guys too, but I’m really pleased with our running backs,” Klieman said. “I feel comfortable and we’re going to need all of them moving forward.”
Skylar Thompson had another efficient game through the air, connecting on 10 of his 13 passes for 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both to Malik Knowles. Their 34-yard connection on fourth down with 4:02 left in the first half gave the Wildcats a 38-0 lead, and the two hooked up for a 20-yard score on K-State’s first drive of the second half to make it 45-0 and end the day for the starters.
Defensively, K-State throttled the visiting Falcons, limiting them to just five first downs and 3.2 yards per play. Bowling Green managed just 61 rushing yards on 20 attempts and 79 passing yards on 24 attempts.
“As a defensive player, you want to keep that zero on the board,” said senior defensive end Reggie Walker. “It was very meaningful to us. For us to get that shutout feels amazing.”
Kansas State travels to Starkville, Mississippi to take on Mississippi State next Saturday at 11 AM. The Wildcats lost 31-10 to the Bulldogs in Manhattan last season.
“We know there’s a lot of tough games in front of us, certainly next week,” Klieman said. “We’ve got to enjoy this one and then put it behind us and go to work.”