|Date of game: 9/27/2014
Recap: Kansas State vs. Texas-El Paso
Manhattan, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Charles Jones rushed for 76 yards and three touchdowns, as No. 25 Kansas State staked its claim to remain in the rankings with a 58-28 thrashing of UTEP on Saturday afternoon.
Jake Waters finished 10-of-15 for 209 yards with one touchdown through the air and one on the ground for the Wildcats (3-1), who face a Big 12 test next Saturday against Texas Tech.
"When you are moving the ball and scoring a lot, we are having fun doing it," said Waters. "We struggled to execute on the first couple of drives, but then we played the way we know how, we can be a great offense."
Tyler Lockett had 84 yards on four receptions and contributed a punt return for a score, while DeMarcus Robinson and Joe Hubener also added rushing TDs.
Jameill Showers was 18-of-28 for 201 yards and four touchdowns for the Miners (2-2), who kick off their Conference USA slate at Louisiana Tech seven days from now.
Ian Hamilton led all receivers with 112 yards on five grabs and a pair of scores, while Aaron Jones and Eric Tomlinson each posted a TD catch in defeat.
"We dug ourselves a hole in the first half. We could not move the ball, and they were a big part of that," said UTEP head coach Sean Kugler. "What we talked about at halftime was coming back and fighting, and I was proud of the way those kids came back in the second half and fought. I like this team."
The Wildcats effectively locked up the contest with three touchdowns in the second quarter. Jones ran in from two yards out early in the period, then after a UTEP three-and-out, Lockett returned a punt 58 yards to make it 24-0.
Another long punt return by Lockett, this one a 54-yarder, ended with Weston Hiebert recovering a Lockett fumble and advancing the ball to the Miners' 20. Five plays later, a 9-yard rush to paydirt from Jones pushed the Wildcats' edge to 31, a margin which stood at halftime.
Jones added a four-yard TD dash to cap the opening series of the third quarter and Kansas State also hit the jackpot on its ensuing possession as Waters and Zach Trujillo combined for a 45-yard touchdown.
"The offensive line had a great push, and they did everything right. They knew they had to go man-on-man, and they had a good day," said Jones about the teammates who helped him gain a career-high in rushing TDs. "I want to do everything I can to get the win and be successful. There were a lot of great play calls and great blocks so we celebrate as a team."
UTEP finally hit the scoreboard when Hamilton hauled in a 4-yard TD pass from Showers, but the Wildcats responded on a 40-yard scoring run by Robinson which closed out the third.
Jones' 3-yard TD catch with 9:35 remaining put the Miners into double digits, but K-State kept its foot on the gas and took a 58-14 edge on the following possession on a 2-yard rushing score by Hubener.
Showers threw TD passes of 69 yards to Hamilton and two yards to Tomlinson in the late stages.
A blocked punt gave the hosts possession on the UTEP 25, and the Wildcats' opening drive stalled after just 17 yards in six plays. Matthew McCrane's 25- yard field goal gave them the first points of the contest.
After going three-and-out on its next touch, K-State took a 10-0 lead when Waters plunged in from the one to cap a six-play drive.Game Notes
Kansas State racked up 451 yards of total offense to 260 for UTEP ... Hubener
entered late for Waters and completed 3-of-4 passes for 54 yards ... Trujillo
compiled 75 yards on three receptions for KSU ... The programs met for just
the third time and first since the Wildcats claimed a 40-7 victory in
Manhattan on Sept. 18, 1999.