Kansas State 35, Temple 14
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Jaime Mendez intercepted a school-record four passes Saturday night, leading Kansas State to a 35-14 victory over Temple and giving the Wildcats their first five-game winning streak in 58 years.
Kansas State (2-0) scored three touchdowns off Mendez interceptions, including two in the first half as Kansas State took a 28-0 halftime lead over the Owls (1-3).
The Wildcats’ two victories this year combined with their three wins at the end of last season give them their longest winning streak since the 1934 team won its last five.
Mendez, a junior free safety, erased the Kansas State interception record previously accomplished in 1949 and 1986, and was one interception short of the Big Eight record.
Eric Gallon, showing no sign of trouble from last spring’s reconstructive knee surgery, rushed 29 times for 134 yards for Kansas State.
The Wildcats were leading 6-0 late in the first quarter when Mendez picked off a poorly thrown pass by Temple quarterback Marc Baxter and returned it 36 yards to the 6. Three plays later, quarterback Jason Smargiasso ran in from three yards out. Smarggiasso’s 2-point pass to Brian Rees made it 14-0.
Kansas State drove 62 yards in eight plays on its next possession, keyed by Smargiasso’s 39-yard pass to Andre Coleman. Rod Schiller carried on four straight plays from the 15 to the 1, then Smargiasso took it over again.
Four plays later, Mendez intercepted Baxter a second time, giving the Wildcats the ball on the Temple 29. Five straight runs by Gallon moved the ball to the 9, and Rod Schiller went around left end for the score.
Kansas State marched 77 yards on nine plays for its first touchdown, capped by Gallon’s 1-yard run with 9:12 left in the first quarter. Tate Wright, who also missed a 33-yard field goal attempt, missed the extra point.
The Owls drove 68 yards in eight plays with the opening kickoff of the second half and scored on the first of Sam Jenkins’ two 1-yard touchdown runs. Jenkins picked up 23 yards to the Owl 27, then Baxter scrambled up the middle to the 1.
Temple, aided by a fourth down Kansas State penalty that kept the drive alive, pounded 80 yards in 13 yards to set up Jenkins’ second touchdown with 11:24 remaining. The Owls were driving again when Mendez made his fourth interception midway in the fourth period. The Wildcats then marched 80 yards in 13 plays to set up a clinching touchdown on Schiller’s 22-yard run.