Thursday, December 29, 2016

Kansas States overcome Texas Aggies for 33-28 Texas Bowl win

Jesse Ertz (16) tallied three touchdowns
and the game MVP award.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2016 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (December 28, 2016) The Kansas State Wildcats used a potent offense to keep the Texas A&M Aggies in check in route to a 33-28 win in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at NRG Stadium in Houston. The win raised the Wildcats record to 9-4 for the season while the Aggies dropped to 8-5.

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder discussed the win with the press after the game.

“You know, I’ve been impressed with the spirit of our players on this trip.  It goes back to the, what is the event they have here, the little rodeo deal.  What I was so impressed with, not the fact of who wins or loses, but the spirit that our players, unsolicited, that they showed during that period of time.  I’m don’t know if any of you were out there.  I enjoyed watching our players show that passion for the competitiveness of it and the spirit.  I kind of had a feeling it would carry over to this ballgame, and I think for the most part it did.”

Josh Reynolds caught 12 passes for 154 yards and
two touchdowns for the Aggies.
Photo by Darla Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved
The Aggies tallied the first score of the game, receiving the initial kickoff and driving 75 yards in 10 plays for the score. Tailback Keith Ford took the handoff from quarterback Trevor Knight and rambled the final seven yards of the drive for the score. Daniel La Camera kicked the extra point to give Texas A&M an early 7-0 lead. A bit less than seven minutes later, the Wildcats received an Aggie punt and began their drive on their own 21-yard line. Quarterback Jesse Ertz connected with wide receiver Bryon Pringle on their first play of the possession, with a 79-yard pass, for Kansas State’s first score. Ian Patterson evened the score at seven points with his successful conversion.  The Wildcats then took the lead when Ertz rushed the final five yards of a 55-yard drive, on a quarterback keeper, for Kansas State’s second touchdown of the game. The Aggies limited the Wildcat score to six points when Patterson’s extra point attempt was blocked by Myles Garrett to make the score 13-7 at the 12:19 mark of the second quarter.

Texas A&M wasted no time in getting back the lead when they capped their next possession with a three-yard pass from Knight to wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones for the Aggies’ second TD and the La Camera kicking conversion. The Aggies then held a slim 14-13 lead over the Wildcats. K-State took back the lead with a 40-yard field goal by Patterson with 6:13 left in the first half. They increased their lead to 23 points when Dominique Heath took a handoff from Knight on a second-and-five play and carried the ball 52 yards for the Wildcats’ third touchdown of the game. Patterson added the obligatory extra point to give Kansas State a 23-14 to close out the first half.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin discussed the Aggies’ season performance after the game.

"Oh, we’re not happy.  Just like I said last week at the press conference.  The message in there was, you know, I was thankful to these guys, to the seniors.  Really wanted it to be different tonight and send them out on a really good note because of how they’ve represented this program.  Didn’t get that done.  The message really was for the young players that this feeling that they have in that locker room right now, basically, don’t forget that.  Anytime and how we go to work from here on out, the guys that are coming back, this feeling should drive you even more throughout the spring.  We’ve got a bunch of guys that are coming in here mid-year too.   The guys who are here, the returning guys, they’ve got to be leaders in this program.  That feeling that you have right now should help motivate us even more throughout the spring and into next year.”

The Aggies began a comeback in the second half, beginning at drive with 10:56 on the clock in the third quarter. The Aggies moved the ball 90 yards in 10 plays and capped the drive with a four-yard pass from Knight to wide receiver Josh Reynolds for the touchdown. LaCamera added the extra point to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 23-21. Kansas State responded three minutes later with a Patterson 25-yard field goal to increase their lead to 26-21. The Wildcats increased their lead six minutes into the fourth quarter when Ertz carried the ball again on another quarterback keeper for another touchdown. As previously, Patterson kicked the conversion to give Kansas State a 33-21 lead. The Aggies scored with 7:50 left in the game on a 15-yard pass from Knight to Reynolds. 

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