K-State routs Jayhawks
By GEOFFREY CALVERT
LAWRENCE -- It didn't matter who was carrying the ball, who was throwing it or who was catching it.
Kansas just couldn't keep possession of it.
The Jayhawks committed six turnovers in a variety of ways on Saturday, and Kansas State took advantage of them in a 31-10 victory for its fifth straight win in the series.
"When you turn it over 100 times the chance you have to come back in a game like that just goes out the window," said Kansas coach Charlie Weis, who only allowed two players -- seniors Gavin Howard and Dexter Linton -- to speak to reporters after the game.
"Turnovers are part of the game," Weis said. "It was just how they all packaged together."
The ball really became slippery after halftime.
Trailing 21-10 and with some momentum out of the locker room, the Jayhawks promptly turned it over on four straight possessions, ending any hopes of upsetting their in-state rival.
Using those turnovers, John Hubert ran for a career-high 220 yards and Jake Waters accounted for three touchdowns as Kansas State bounced back from a loss last week to Oklahoma.
Hubert also had a touchdown run for the Wildcats (7-5, 5-4), who will become the fourth school in Big 12 history to start 2-4 and reach a bowl game when it learns its destination in the coming weeks. The most likely bet is the Holiday Bowl.
"We're going into our bowl game with a win," Waters said. "That's huge. And then not playing as well as we want, that's going to keep us hungry getting into bowl prep."
Meanwhile, Kansas (3-9, 1-8) stumbles into the offseason with its fifth straight losing record and few signs that Weis had made progress in two years in charge. Jake Heaps threw for 138 yards with three interceptions, while Montell Cozart also threw a pick. The Jayhawks also fumbled twice.
"We gave it our all," Linton said. "Things didn't work out our way."
Waters finished with 160 yards passing, including touchdown throws to Zach Trujillo and Glenn Gronkowski. Waters also ran for a TD while playing almost the entire way, even in a stiff breeze, as run-first quarterback Daniel Sams watched from the Kansas State sideline.
Dante Barnett had two interceptions and recovered a fumble for the Wildcats, while Dylan Schellenberg had a pick and also recovered a fumble while playing for injured safety Ty Zimmerman.
James Sims had 22 carries for 82 yards in his final game for Kansas. Last week, the senior became the first player in school history with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
"He's probably one of the better running backs to ever come through and because the team hasn't won many games he'll be underappreciated," Weis said. "I feel bad for him."
The 112th edition of the Sunflower Showdown went very much like the last four editions.
Kansas State needed just three plays to get on the board first. Waters found Trujillo down the seam on an option-pass and he rumbled untouched 35 yards for the touchdown.
After the Wildcats forced a punt, it took four more plays for Hubert to score from 21 yards out. Gronkowski's touchdown catch made it 21-0.
If there was any electricity in Memorial Stadium, it was gone by that point.
Heaps, who took over for the ineffective Cozart, threw an 11-yard TD pass to Jimmay Mundine on fourth-and-2 late in the second quarter to get Kansas going. Then the Jayhawks took advantage of a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to tack on a short field goal.
Weis said a shift in Kansas State's coverage prompted the quarterback switch.
"They changed their coverage from two-deep coverage to one-deep coverage to load the box up and were slanting on almost every play, putting them in a position to take away just the running game," Weis said. "I didn't feel we could play the game one-dimensional and have a chance to win."
Still, Kansas couldn't overcome its abundance of miscues.
Heaps delivered a perfect pass to Mundine that the tight end bobbled into the air and Barnett picked off. Five plays later, Waters ran 15 yards for a touchdown and a 28-10 lead.
The Jayhawks were on the march again when Heaps threw a jump ball toward the end zone that Barnett intercepted again. Heaps was picked again moments later by Dorrian Roberts, and this time Ian Patterson knocked through a 31-yard field goal for the final margin.
"They play fundamentally sound," Howard said. "You know what they're going to do but they do it well. You've got to make sure you don't make any mistakes."