Kansas State Cruises to Win, Topping Charlotte, 55-7

The 19th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats weren't exactly hospitable in Brad Lambert's return to his alma mater. The 49ers head coach, who played for KSU from 1984-87, watched the home team race to a 21-0 first quarter lead on its way to a 55-7 victory in front of a crowd of 50,807.

"It was good, except for the game," Lambert said of his return. "It's good to be back and a lot has changed. It's amazing what they've done here with the sustained success over time. This is a great environment to come play in. This is as good as there is."

The Wildcats (2-0) went 75 yards on the opening drive to go ahead, 7-0 and QB Jesse Ertz rushed for a 35-yard touchdown on the second possession to push the lead to 14-0. A Pick Six by Kendall Adams, the second the 49ers have thrown on the young season, gave KSU the 21-0 cushion.

A 66-yard kick-off return by the 49ers' Aaron McAllister set up the 49ers first quarter score – a 19-yard run and leap by QB Hasaan Klugh to cut the Wildcats lead to 21-7. Charlotte was able to hold KSU's 18-play; 87-yard drive to a 22-yard field goal but the Wildcats added a pair of TD's in the final 4:18 to go ahead 38-7 at the break.

Following the Wildcats field goal, Charlotte (0-2) put together a nine-play drive that included a 12-yard run by Benny LeMay, a 10-yard catch by LeMay and an eight-yard first down catch by Nate Mullen. The drive included three of the 49ers six first half first downs, but ended when Klugh's backward pass/fumble was gobbled up by Adams and returned 46-yards for a touchdown. KSU's Alex Barnes crashed in from four yards out to cap a nine-play, 62-yard drive to end the half.

"Kansas State – that's a really, really good football team and there's a reason they're #19 in the country," said Lambert. "We've got to be able to run the ball better. You put yourself behind the chains and you put Hasaan in some bad down and distances. I thought we did better with penalties today but we've got to find a way to run the ball."

The Wildcats scored again on the first possession of the second half, on a 13-yard rush by Dalvin Warmack to increase the advantage to 45-7. The Wildcats kicked a field goal to end the third quarter and converted an interception in Charlotte territory to a 15-yard rushing TD by Mike McCoy midway through the fourth quarter to go ahead, 55-7.

Charlotte linebacker Karrington King had four tackles on the Wildcats opening drive to surpass current Cleveland Brown Larry Ogunjobi for the 49ers all-time
tackles record. Ogunjobi amassed 217 tackles in his four-year career. With eight tackles in the game, King now has 223 career takedowns.

The 49ers failed to force a turnover for just the fourth time in school history. The 49ers had 168 yards of total offense, the fewest in school history.

This was the 49ers second game against an FBS ranked opponent (#19 Louisville, 2016). Charlotte is 0-2 in such games.

Klugh was 8-of-19 for 33 yards and one interception. Brooks Barden came in in the second half and was 2-for-6 for 25 yards and an interception. Uriah LeMay had two catches for 25 yards, including a 20-yard reception, to lead the 49ers receivers. Klugh led the rushers with 10 rushes for 33 yards, including the 19-yard TD carry. Robert Washington had seven carries for 28 yards.

Sr. Markevis Davis had a career-best eight tackles, breaking his previous high of seven against another Power Five foe, Kentucky. So. Ben DeLuca also had eight tackles to join King and Davis atop the list. Denzel Irvin had the team's lone sack – the first of his career. Juwan Foggie and Tyriq Harris also had tackles for loss.

Charlotte heads back to the Queen City for its first home game of the season, Sept. 16 vs. North Carolina A&T.