MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — On an inconsistent day for the Kansas State offense, one player emerged amidst the dropped passes and potential big plays that went bust: Kansas State’s dual-threat quarterback.
Jesse Ertz ran for two touchdowns and Kansas State withstood a furious second half rally to post a 33-20 win over Baylor Saturday.
Ertz had 12 carries for 95 yards, including a 15-yard run in the 3rd quarter to extend the Kansas State lead to 27-13. The Wildcats tipped the balance of their offense in the second half with just five pass attempts compared to 23 rushes.
Baylor head coach Matt Rhule had seen a big play quarterback the week before in Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. However, when compared to Ertz in the quarterback run game Rhule gave the edge to the Kansas State signal caller.
“Baker doesn’t run the football as much as Jesse and he (Ertz) is more of a power runner.” Rhule said when comparing the two.
“He made some crucial plays with the quarterback draw down in the red zone. He has the ability to run through you and over the top of you. I thought he did a nice job of getting us to jump offside early on with the hard count.”
For the game, Kansas State (3-1,1-0 Big 12) ran the ball 43 times for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
After falling behind 17-3 at the half, Baylor (0-5, 0-2 Big 12) had a chance to tie, but a bad snap over the head of Zach Smith was recovered by Kansas State near the end of the 3rd quarter.
Smith finished the contest with 291 yards passing on 44 attempts and one touchdown.
“We got the ball in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie the game.” Rhule said. “Snap the ball over the quarterbacks head and then drop the snap on a punt. Those were obviously two huge errors — miscues that put the game out of reach.”
Kansas State: Kansas State is now 10-5 after coming off of a bye week since 2009.
Baylor: The Bears fall to 0-5 for the first time since 1978.
Kansas State should receive votes into the AP Poll this coming week.
Kansas State: The Wildcats are at Texas Saturday.
Baylor: The Bears play at Oklahoma State on Saturday, October 14.
Following the game, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule fears that punter Drew Galitz may be out for the season as he had a non-contact injury during the opening kickoff.
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