Manhattan, KS – John Hubert carried the ball 12 times for 159 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown burst, as No. 22 Kansas State bounced back from a sluggish first half to rout Missouri State, 51-9, on Saturday at Bill Snyder Stadium.
The Wildcats (1-0) held a slim 9-6 lead at halftime, but got touchdown runs from Hubert, Daniel Sams and Braden Wilson in the second half to run away with the victory.
"It was all defined in the first 30 minutes, I thought we were horrible in the first 30 minutes," Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said. "You can take your pick on who you want to assign that to, but I thought in the second half we played a little better up front defensively."
Sams finished with 61 yards on three carries, while Wilson carried the ball twice for nine yards.
Collin Klein was effective under center, going 19-of-28 for 169 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing 13 times for 63 yards for Kansas State, which finished 10-3 a season ago and lost in the Cotton Bowl to Arkansas.
Missouri transfer Ashton Glaser got his first start at quarterback for Missouri State (0-1), completing half of his 44 passes for 257 yards and one interception.
"It is pretty disappointing," Glaser said of the loss. "I do not think the final score showed how we really played in the game but it happens. We missed some opportunities and we have to take advantage of them next time."
Vernon Scott rushed for 67 yards on 11 carries, while Dorian Buford hauled in seven passes for 114 yards for the Bears, who struggled to a 2-9 mark last season.
An Austin Witmer field goal on Missouri State's first drive of the second half tied the game at 9-9, but a short kick off set the Wildcats up near midfield.
Klein quickly took advantage, completing all five of his pass attempts, including an 18-yard touchdown strike to Tramaine Thompson to give the home team a 16-9 edge.
After Tyler Lockett returned a punt 43 yards later in the third to set the Wildcats up in Bears' territory, Klein scampered 17 yards before Wilson finished off the abbreviated drive two plays later with a 4-yard touchdown plunge, extending the Wildcats lead to 23-9.
Hubert busted through the line and took it 95 yards for a touchdown on Kansas State's next possession to press the margin to 30-9 before a Nigel Malone interception set up Klein's 1-yard touchdown pass to Chris Harper to make it 37-9.
After a roughing the kicker penalty kept Kansas State's next drive alive, Sams sprung free for a 46-yard score and Thompson added an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the fourth to account for the final margin.
The teams exchanged field goals in the early going as Kansas State went 69 yards on 11 plays on its first drive, but settled for a 23-yard field goal from Anthony Cantele.
Witmer answered with a 24-yard field goal of his own to knot the game at 3-3 late in the first before Cantele's 19-yarder midway through the second stanza gave the Wildcats a 6-3 edge.
Kierra Harris found Buford for a 56-yard reception on the first play of the Bears' ensuing drive and Witmer's 35-yard field goal tied the game at 6-6, but Cantele's third field goal of the first half, a 25-yarder, sent the home team into the locker room holding a 9-6 edge.
Kansas State holds a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series with Missouri State ... Kansas State rushed for 324 yards as a team, while Missouri State managed 100 yards on the ground ... Missouri State turned the ball over twice, compared to zero turnovers for the Wildcats.