K-State piles on late in Missouri State win

Kansas State gave its fans plenty of reason to be nervous for most of Saturday night's win.

The Wildcats survived close calls against FCS foes Eastern Kentucky and Massachusetts in recent seasons. Opening-night struggles against what should have been overmatched opponents are nothing new.

That was the case Saturday until a 35-point fourth-quarter outburst gave the Wildcats a convincing 51-9 victory over Missouri State.

Collin Klein didn't necessarily help or hurt his fledgling Heisman campaign, completing 19 of 28 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Kansas State looks like it's trying to limit the damage done to its workhorse quarterback. He carried the ball 317 times last season, averaging 26.4 per game.

Tonight? Just 12 carries for 59 yards. Bill Snyder's team did what it took to win. The game's biggest highlight? A 95-yard sprint from John Hubert, who finished with 152 yards and a score on his 12 carries.

Kansas State hardly outgained the Bears, 493-415, which has to cause plenty of concerns for Tom Hayes' defense, playing its first game under a new coordinator since Chris Cosh left for South Florida.

Still, it's an opening game, and you have to consider this progress from last season, when the Cats needed fourth-quarter heroics to stage a 10-7 comeback win over Eastern Kentucky.

This one had the Cats sweating early, but the end result was pretty, even if three of the final four touchdowns were quick strikes from 95, 89 (Tramaine Thompson punt return) and 46 yards out.

It's 1-0 for the Wildcats, and the Cats will prep themselves for a Week 2 date at home against Miami (Fla.).