COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP

Ertz powers Kansas State past Texas A&M

The Sports Xchange

December 28, 2016 at 10:53 pm.

Dec 28, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Jesse Ertz (16) celebrates with offensive lineman Reid Najvar (67) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at NRG Stadium. Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 28, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Jesse Ertz (16) celebrates with offensive lineman Reid Najvar (67) after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at NRG Stadium. Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another as the Wildcats completed a season sweep of Lone Star State programs with a 33-28 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies on Wednesday night in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium.

Ertz finished with 262 total yards for the Wildcats (9-4), who closed the season with four consecutive victories and six over their last seven games. Kansas State had dropped seven of its previous eight bowl games and was 1-5 in bowl games played in Texas. After beating Big 12 foes Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor and TCU, the Wildcats added the Aggies (8-5) to their list of dispatched programs from Texas.

Behind receiver Josh Reynolds, who set a school bowl record for receptions with 12 for 154 yards and two touchdowns, Texas A&M rallied to within one score and marched to the Kansas State 23 before facing a fourth down with 2:15 left to play. Wildcats cornerback Cre Moore blitzed off the edge and forced an incomplete pass from Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight to help preserve the lead.

Knight passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.

On the ensuing march, Ertz scampered for a first down to essentially seal the victory.

Stymied on its opening possession, Kansas State caught momentum on the first snap of its second drive. Ertz dropped a perfect pass down the near sideline for a 79-yard strike to Byron Pringle that pulled the Wildcats even at 7-7 with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter.

The Wildcats punted on their ensuing possession before reeling off three consecutive drives in which they tallied points.

The Aggies were helpless against the onslaught, allowing drives of eight and seven plays that resulted in a touchdown and a field goal plus a 52-yard touchdown run by Wildcats receiver Dominique Heath on a jet sweep with 3:07 left in the half.

Kansas State had its offensive blitz stalled when Ertz was dropped for a loss on fourth-and-1 at the Texas A&M 26-yard line with 32 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Aggies breezed to a 7-0 lead, covering 75 yards in 10 plays on their opening drive. However, needed a splendid 37-yard, third-down reception from Reynolds to fuel their second score, a 3-yard toss from Knight to Ricky Seals-Jones that gave the Aggies a short-lived 14-13 lead.

NOTES: Kansas State entered the postseason with 125 combined starts from freshmen and sophomores this season, the most by any Bill Snyder-led team. The previous high was 101 by his first squad in 1989. … Aggies WR Ricky Seals-Jones recorded his first touchdown reception on the season with his 3-yard catch in the second quarter. … The Wildcats’ 79-yard touchdown pass from QB Jesse Ertz to WR Byron Pringle was the second-longest pass play in Kansas State bowl history. Michael Bishop hit Darnell McDonald for 88 yards in the 1998 Alamo Bowl. … With his 3-yard reception in the second quarter, Aggies WR Christian Kirk became the first player in program history with multiple 80-catch campaigns. Kirk finished with 80 receptions as a freshman in 2015.

 

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

SCARBROUGH'S TAKE

College Fans, Beware The Man in the Bottle.

ALL  |  NFL  |  College Football  |  MLB  |  NBA