Sunday, August 24, 2003

K-State handles Golden Bears



The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ell Roberson threw for 205 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and ran for 145 more yards and another score.

Darren Sproles ran for a career-high 175 yards and one TD and became Kansas State's career leader in 100-yard games.

Coach Bill Snyder's assessment?

"Pretty decent."

It fell to California coach Jeff Tedford to praise the Wildcats' offensive stars.

"They made a lot of big plays, but the credit goes to their two guys," Tedford said. "I'm not sure they don't do that against anyone."

Then again, Snyder had more pressing concerns after the seventh-ranked Wildcats beat California 42-28 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

Kansas State's defense, historically the team's stronger unit, gave up 440 yards and the first four-touchdown performance by an opponent since a 35-31 loss to Colorado on Oct. 5, 2002.

"They'll be tested in practice on Monday," Snyder said.

Sproles' 11th career 100-yard game on 22 carries set a school record, and he extended his own record with his 10th consecutive 100-yard game. The Wildcats' win in the Black Coaches Association Classic was their 14th straight season-opening victory.

Roberson threw TD passes of 5 yards to Travis Wilson and 57 yards to James Terry as the Wildcats took a 27-14 halftime lead. He finished 9-for-18 and carried 18 times.

"I felt a little bit rusty at first, but I got more comfortable as the game went along," he said. "The coaches put me in some great positions."

Roberson's 11-yard scoring run and 2-point conversion carry midway through the third quarter gave the Wildcats a decisive 35-14 advantage. A holding penalty on Kansas State's next drive wiped out what would have been a 35-yard TD pass to Terry, but Roberson connected with Davin Dennis from 28 yards for a 42-21 lead in the fourth quarter.

Offense was rarely a problem for Kansas State, which scored on its first five possessions and rolled up 540 yards.

Defense - especially pass defense - was another story.

The Wildcats did have two sacks, one interception and a key fourth-down stop against Cal quarterback Reggie Robertson.

Robertson, who was lifted for Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter but returned when a hard hit knocked Rodgers out of the game, was 16-for-29 for 257 yards and three touchdowns against a secondary which lost two starters - including All-America cornerback Terence Newman - from last year's 11-2 team.

"I expected him to be good," Snyder said. "The only thing I was concerned about was that we gave him a month and a half to throw. We did not get the pressure we wanted in one on one situations."

Rodgers was 9-for-13 for 121 yards with one touchdown, a 22-yarder to J.J. Arrington that cut Kansas State's lead to 35-21 early in the fourth quarter, before a knockdown by defensive end Andrew Shull took him out.

"I got the wind knocked out of me and bruised my sternum," Rodgers said. "I was ready to go back in, but Reggie finished it off."

With just under 41/2 minutes left in the game, Robertson's 7-yard shovel pass to Arrington cut Kansas State's lead to 42-28. The Bears tried an onside kick, but Joe Lawson covered it for the Wildcats.

Sproles ran 53 yards on his first carry of the game, setting up his 5-yard run three plays later for a 7-0 lead. But Robertson was 4-for-5 on the Golden Bears' next drive, capped by his 34-yard pass to Vincent Strang to tie it at 7.

Joe Rheem's 22-yard field goal put the Wildcats ahead for good, 10-7, and Kansas State began to pull away with a goal-line stand and a 98-yard TD drive.

On the first play of the second quarter, California went for it on fourth down from inside Kansas State's 1. Linebacker Josh Buhl stuffed Robertson at the 2.

"If we don't make a play there, it's a first down or a touchdown," Buhl said. "The play just happened to come my way."

Roberson took over on the ensuing drive. He carried eight times for 70 yards, then threw to Wilson for a 17-7 lead.

After Rheem's 37-yard field goal made it 20-7 and James McGill's interception gave the Wildcats the ball again, Roberson put together his most impressive play of the night.

Roberson got safety Harrison Smith to bite early on a pump fake, then lofted a perfectly timed throw over Smith's head to a wide-open Terry. Terry pulled the ball in at the Bears' 35 and raced in untouched to put the Wildcats up 27-7.

Four plays after that, Cal's Geoff McArthur outjumped cornerback Randy Jordan at the Wildcats' 40 and went down the right sideline to complete a 65-yard TD play that got the Bears within 27-14. San Jose State 29, Grambling State 0

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Scott Rislov threw for 321 yards and a touchdown as San Jose State defeated Grambling State 29-0 Saturday in the first college football game of the season.

Jeff Carr tied a school record with three field goals as the Spartans played in front of their first sellout in 13 years in the inaugural Literacy Classic.

Bruce Eugene threw for 210 yards for Grambling State, ranked seventh in the nation among Division I-AA schools.

The Tigers' first appearance in California since 1972 drew a stadium record 31,681 - many of whom came to enjoy Grambling State's marching band.

San Jose State recorded its first shutout since beating UNLV 42-0 on Nov. 19, 1988. The Spartans last played to a full house against rival Fresno State in November 1990.

The Tigers were shut out for the first time since losing to Louisville in 2000 - 43 games ago.

The Spartans sealed the game with a pair of quick touchdowns early in the fourth quarter. With 13:09 left, Yonus Davis ran 2 yards for a touchdown that made it 19-0. The score was set up by Rislov's 31-yard pass to Kendrick Starling.

Less than a minute later, Gerald Jones picked off a pass from Eugene and maneuvered 46 yards into the end zone for a 26-0 Spartans lead.

Rislov completed 24 of 38 pass attempts without an interception.

San Jose State took a 7-0 lead with 5:13 left in the first quarter on a 20-yard pass from Rislov to Leon Pinky, who caught the pass at the 10 and bullied his way in.

Rislov completed all six of his passes on the drive for 87 yards as the Spartans covered 85 yards in 11 plays over 5:28. The Spartans needed to convert one third down on the drive as they marched down the field in hefty chunks.

Rislov, who has thrown a touchdown pass in 12 consecutive games, completed passes of 19 yards to Davis and 18 yards to Tuati Wooden to help set up Pinky's first career touchdown reception.

Carr kicked a 43-yard field goal with 11:49 remaining in the second quarter to pad the Spartans' lead to 10-0. He added a 47-yarder with 2:18 left in the third quarter and added a 25-yarder late in the game.

San Jose State had a touchdown late in the first half called back because of a penalty, and Carr's 46-yard field goal try with no time left went wide right.

Grambling State linebacker Fred Wicker suffered a torn right ACL in the first half.

• MICHIGAN: Marlin Jackson will start the season on the sidelines after being suspended by coach Lloyd Carr.

• FLORIDA: Freshman linebackers Channing Crowder and Taurean Charles were suspended for the Gators' season opener for their involvement in off-field fights.

• NEBRASKA: Offensive lineman Junior Tagoa'i was dismissed from the team, the same day he was sentenced to 21 days in jail for hitting his girlfriend.




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