Will Howard accounted for four touchdowns in the first half as No. 16 Kansas State defeated Southeast Missouri State 45-0 in Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
Howard had two passing touchdowns to go along with a rushing and receiving score by halftime. He became the sixth player in Big 12 history to have a passing, rushing and receiving TD in a game.
Howard played just two series in the second half and finished 18-of-26 passing for 297 yards with the two touchdowns and an interception.
Kansas State scored four second-quarter touchdowns to open up a 35-0 halftime lead before cruising in the second half. SEMO hadn't been shut out in 41 games.
The Wildcats got a 51-yard field goal from Chris Tennant in the third quarter before Avery Johnson took over for Howard. Johnson scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 7-yard run up the middle to open the fourth.
Kansas State held the Redhawks to a three-and-out on their first drive, then responded with a nine-play, 67-yard march, capped by a 33-yard touchdown pass from Howard to Jadon Jackson. The Wildcats extended the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Howard raced untouched around the left end for a 1-yard touchdown.
Near the midway point of the second quarter, Howard found RJ Garcia II crossing the field behind the Southeast Missouri State secondary, and Garcia squeezed into the front corner of the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
After four seasons at Florida State, Treshaun Ward scored his first touchdown for the Wildcats on a 3-yard push up the middle with 5:35 left in the first half. KSU capped its first-half scoring with a trick play. Ward took a handoff on first-and-goal from the 8-yard line, jogged to the right and then threw the ball back to Howard, who raced untouched into the end zone.
Geno Hess, the Redhawks' leading rusher last season with 142.5 yards per game, was held to minus-4 yards on 10 carries on Saturday.
—Field Level Media