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Wildcats run streak over Kansas to 11 games with 42-6 rout of Jayhawks


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

By DOUG TUCKER, AP Sports Writer

October 25, 2003

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Darren Sproles broke Kansas State's career rushing record and added a 63-yard touchdown punt return as the Wildcats romped 42-6 Saturday for their 11th straight victory over Kansas.

 

Kansas State (6-3, 2-2 Big 12) was leading only 7-3 at the end of the first quarter when Bill Whittemore, Kansas' standout senior quarterback, left with an apparent shoulder injury. Although coach Mark Mangino refused to specify the exact nature of the injury, he did say Whittemore's college career may be over.

 

``It's unlikely they will see him the rest of the year,'' Mangino said. ``We have to move on and get ready to play.''

 

Mangino said there was ``a slim chance'' that Whittemore might be back for the last regular-season game, against Iowa State.

 

With backup Brian Luke at quarterback, the Jayhawks (5-3, 2-2) fumbled the exchange on the first play after Whittemore went out.

 

Then Ell Roberson hit Davin Dennis with a 20-yard TD pass on the next play, and the Wildcats were rolling to another rout against their state rivals.

 

Sproles wound up with 98 yards on 19 carries, giving him 2,619 career yards and breaking the previous record of 2,537 by Eric Hickson from 1994-97. Sproles' 63-yard punt return put Kansas State on top 28-3 at the half.

 

Roberson rushed for 103 yards and scored twice on 1-yard runs for the Wildcats, whose 11-game streak is the longest in the 101-year history of the often-bitter rivalry. Roberson also hit 10 of 19 passes for 138 yards and one TD.

 

The Wildcats had 257 yards rushing and 395 total yards, dwarfing the 160 total yards of Kansas, which since 1997 has lost to Kansas State by an average score of 50-8.

 

John Nielsen, a transfer from West Mesa/Palomar junior college who doesn't even have a bio in the football media guide, quarterbacked all but one play for the Jayhawks in place of Whittemore. He was 8-for-12 for 33 yards.

 

In just seven games, Whittemore had tied the school record with 15 touchdown passes in a season and rushed for 358 yards and seven TDs. He was sixth in the nation averaging more than 320 yards in total offense and was the primary reason the Jayhawks seemed to be having a breakthrough season in Mangino's second year as head coach.

 

Johnny Beck hit field goals of 18 and 51 yards for Kansas.

 

Sproles scored on a 7-yard run in the second quarter, then broke free on his long punt return moments later. Victor Mann had a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter.