Jesse Ertz threw touchdown pass and ran for two more Wednesday night at NRG Stadium as Kansas State won the AdvoCare Texas Bowl 33-21 over Texas A&M.
Ertz, a junior from Burlington, Iowa, completed 14-of-20 passes for 195 yards, and added 85 yards on the ground. He was named the game’s MVP as Kansas State finished the 2016 season 9-4 following a 3-3 start.
Kansas State had to come from behind in the game after Texas A&M took the opening kickoff and drove 75-yards in 10 plays. Keith Ford gave the Aggies the lead with a 7-yard touchdown run, but the Wildcats tied the game.
Ertz hit Byron Pringle for a 79-yard touchdown pass down the sideline with 4:52 left in the first quarter, and in the second, Ertz ran it in the endzone from five yards out to give Kansas State the lead, but Myles Garrett blocked the extra point, leaving the score 13-7, and Texas A&M regained the lead when Trevor Knight found Ricky Seals-Jones for a three yard touchdown pass, but Kansas State scored the final 10 points of the half to take a 23-14 lead into the locker room, a lead they’d never relinquish, though the Aggies made things close.
After the Wildcats punted to start the second half, Josh Reynolds finished a 90-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to bring Texas A&M within two, but after Ian Patterson kicked a 40-yard field goal, Daniel LaCamera missed from 52-yards out. On Kansas State’s ensuing drive, Ertz snuck it in from a yard out to make it a 33-21 game. He had two 20-yard runs on the drive, but the Aggies didn’t go away.
They made it a one score game with 7:40 to play, needing just three plays, with Knight hitting Reynolds for a 15-yard score. Christian Kirk’s 40-yard reception set the drive up. Kansas State punted, and the Aggies drove inside the red zone with an opportunity for the game-winning score, but on third and four from the 19, Keith Ford lost four yards, and on fourth down, Knight threw an incomplete pass to give the ball back to Wildcats, and they never gave it up.
Pringle finished with three catches for 107 yards for Kansas State, while Justin Silmon ran it 10 times for 78-yards.
Knight threw three touchdown passes in the final game of his collegiate career. He was 30-of-48 for 310 yards.
Reynolds caught 12 passes for 154 yards with the two touchdowns.
Texas A&M finishes the season with an 8-5 record after starting the season 6-0.