Kansas State 27, Montana 12
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Jason Smargiasso threw for one touchdown and rushed for two Saturday night as Kansas State, the last major-college team to start the 1992 season, beat Montana 27-12.
Smargiasso, who shared playing time with senior Matt Garbera, may have locked up the starting job with his performance against the Grizzlies, a Division I-AA team which is 1-2. Smargiasso, a junior, showed a strong arm while completing six of 15 passes for 203 yards, including wind-aided completions of 73 and 69 yards.
Smargiasso’s first big gainer, to wide receiver Mitch Running, took Kansas State to the Montana 3 late in the first quarter. Five plays later, Smargiasso scored on a 1-yard run.
The Wildcat quarterback burned the Montana secondary again when, rolling to his right, he hit wide receiver Gerald Benton in stride at the Montana 15. Benton, who had a potential scoring pass slip through his hands on the previous possession, streaked into the end zone for Kansas State’s second touchdown.
In the second quarter, Montana’s Sean Dorris blocked a punt and Dan Anderson recovered the ball at the Kansas State 23 to set up the Grizzlies’ first touchdown. Montana quarterback Brad Lebo, who completed 35 of 58 passes for 366 yards, threw a 20-yard pass to wide receiver Bill Cockhill for the score.
Lebo’s 58 passes was the most ever against Kansas State.
Kansas State led 20-6 at the half, thanks to a career-long 48-yard field goal by Tate Wright as time expired. Wright also kicked a 34-yarder in the first quarter.
Halfback Tony Rice scored Montana’s other touchdown on a 2-yard run in the third quarter.
Senior running back Eric Gallon, who underwent reconstructive knee surgery in April, saw extensive action, leading Kansas State with 87 yards in 22 carries.
The offense sputtered in the second half under Garber, a senior who completed only one of 10 passes for 16 yards.
Smargiasso returned in the fourth quarter, to the cheers of the crowd, and scored Kansas State’s only second-half touchdown on a 12-yard run.