FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Jesse Ertz and Kansas State rushed to the end of coach Bill Snyder’s 25th regular season, and to another bowl game.
Ertz ran for a career-high 170 yards with a touchdown and Justin Silmon had 133 yards rushing with two touchdowns as the Wildcats won 30-6 at TCU on a drizzly Saturday.
“We just did what we do. I don’t think there was any secret or anything new we threw at them,” said Ertz, the junior quarterback who also had an 83-yard scoring pass. “I’m just looking to go 9-4 and finish out strong.”
Coach Bill Snyder got his 201st victory in 25 seasons with the Wildcats (8-4, 6-3 Big 12), who next will play in their 20th bowl game — the 19th under Snyder. Kansas State appears headed to the Houston Bowl to play an SEC team after winning five of its last six games.
“To finish it out strong … get that eighth win, it was very important for us,” Silmon said.
Kansas State ran for 336 yards, its sixth consecutive 200-yard game on the ground. The Wildcats have 17 rushing TDs their past four games.
TCU (6-6, 4-5) will play in its 14th bowl with Gary Patterson, even after finishing the regular season without a winning record for only the third time in the coach’s 16 full seasons and being held without a touchdown in a game for the first time since 2006.
“Really across the board we got thrown around by everybody,” Patterson said. “We’ve got to grow up on offense. Until they do that, we won’t win many games against good people.”
The Wildcats went ahead for good when Ertz broke free for a 32-yard TD run in the second quarter to make it 10-3.
Right after halftime, Ertz threw a quick slant to Byron Pringle, who caught the ball near Kansas State’s 30 and took off sprinting down the middle of the field on the 83-yard catch-and-run score. He escaped a defender diving at his ankles before going the final 20 yards.
Simlon had both of his TDs after halftime, including a 5-yard score when he avoided two tacklers in the backfield and then bulled through another defender.
“I think maybe the second half might have as been as good a half as we have played,” Snyder said. “Defensively, we played well across the board throughout the ball game.”
Kansas St.: With Ertz effectively leading the way, the Wildcats continue to pound teams with their running game. Ertz has three 100-yard games and 99 in another in the last six games. Snyder said the Wildcats have gotten better overall each game.
TCU: Where has that fast-paced, high-scoring offense gone? TCU hadn’t been held without a touchdown in a decade, since a 12-3 home win over Texas Tech in 2006. The Horned Frogs also had only six points in their previous home game — They had an extra point blocked after a touchdown in a 31-6 loss to Oklahoma State two weeks ago.
HE SAID IT
“We’re going to have to grow up or go recruit. That’s what I told them I’m doing tomorrow, I’m going recruiting. Got to grow up. Can’t be shaking your head and putting your head down when you get beat. You got to grow up. That’s what 4-year-olds do. That’s not what men do. You got to grow up.” — Patterson.
BETTER THAN PREDICTED
Kansas State was the preseason pick to finish eighth in the Big 12. The Wildcats instead finished fourth. “Every year it seems like we come out and prove people wrong,” linebacker Trent Tanking said.
Both teams thought they had defensive touchdowns. TCU defensive end Josh Carraway scooped up what initially was ruled a fumble by Ertz and returned it 6 yards. Replay overturned the call to an incomplete pass. In the fourth quarter, officials ruled that TCU running back Kyle Hicks’ forward progress had been stopped before he fumbled and K-State took the ball to the end zone.
Kansas State and TCU both wait to find out for sure Sunday where they will be going for their bowl games. While the Wildcats will likely return to Texas for their bowl game, the Horned Frogs could also be playing an SEC team in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.