By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Charles Jones ran for three touchdowns, Tyler Lockett returned a punt for another score and No. 25 Kansas State romped to a 58-28 victory over UTEP on Saturday.
DeMarcus Robinson and Jake Waters also had touchdown runs, and Waters threw for 209 yards and another score as the Wildcats (3-1) finished non-conference play by taking out their frustrations from a close loss to fifth-ranked Auburn on the hapless Miners.
UTEP (2-2) managed one first down and 23 yards of offense in the first half, when Kansas State raced to a 31-0 lead. Running back Aaron Jones, the nation's second-leading rusher, was held to 47 yards -- all but nine of them after halftime.
Jameil Showers threw four TD passes for the Miners, all with the game well out of reach.
Kansas State blew a chance to beat Auburn nine days ago in part by missing three field goals, but took control early Saturday mainly on the strength of its special teams.
The Wildcats blocked a punt on the game's first series to set up a field goal, then had another block wiped out by a referee's inadvertent whistle. Later in the half, Lockett returned a punt 58 yards for a score, and had a 51-yard return set up another TD just before halftime.
Things were such a nightmare for the UTEP special teams that the only folks in the stadium having a rougher afternoon may have been referee Alan Eck's officiating crew.
Not only did they blow an erroneous whistle on the blocked punt, they also couldn't seem to figure out whether to award UTEP a do-over on it. Eck spent more than 10 minutes on the radio with the replay officials trying to get everything sorted out, and then was booed by the 16th straight sellout at Bill Snyder Family Stadium when he allowed UTEP to punt again.
It didn't matter a whole lot in the end.
Lockett torched the Miners for 84 yards receiving, moving past his uncle Aaron Lockett and former Wildcats star Michael Smith for third on the school's career list. Lockett has 2,469 yards, trailing only Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson and his father, Kevin Lockett.
His ability to stretch the defense loosened things up for the Kansas State rushing attack, which was bottled up by Auburn. Jones had 76 yards before leaving with what appeared to be a minor injury in the third quarter, and Kansas State piled up 188 yards on the ground.
Given how quickly the Wildcats' offense scored, their defense could barely catch its breath.
That made its performance all-the-more impressive: UTEP went three-and-out on its first five possessions, and didn't have a first down until there was about 5 minutes left before halftime.
By the time the third quarter rolled ended and Kansas State led 52-7, coach Bill Snyder had his starters on the bench, resting up for a return to Big 12 play.
The Wildcats already beat Iowa State on the road earlier in the season. They welcome Texas Tech next week before a potentially pivotal showdown at No. 4 Oklahoma on Oct. 18.
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