12:30 PM ET, November 16, 2002
Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- After his record-setting performance as a ballcarrier, Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson stayed in the game to help a teammate break two more school marks.
Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson ran for 228 yards against Nebraska.
Roberson ran for 228 yards -- the most ever by a Kansas State quarterback -- and three touchdowns as the 11th-ranked Wildcats handed Nebraska another humiliating loss Saturday, 49-13.
With just over two minutes left, Roberson rolled right on the option, then pitched to sophomore tailback Darren Sproles. The resulting 70-yard touchdown run -- Sproles' third of the game -- finished off K-State's most lopsided victory ever against the Cornhuskers.
It also gave Sproles 155 yards, his seventh straight 100-yard game and eighth of the season. Josh Scobey set the school record last season with seven 100-yard games, and Isaac Jackson had six straight in 1973.
"I really wanted the guy to bite on me, so I could get the ball to (Sproles) and he could go around on the outside,'' Roberson said. "He did, and I pitched it, and Sproles just took over.''
Roberson's 91-yard first-quarter touchdown run was the second-longest run against Nebraska, topped only by Gale Sayers' 99-yarder for Kansas in 1963. It was also the longest Kansas State run since Gerald Hackney's 96-yarder against the Jayhawks in 1948.
"It looked like the Red Sea,'' Roberson said. "I spotted the goal line and I just ran away.''
With one game left, against Colorado, Nebraska (7-5, 3-4 Big 12) is assured of its first non-winning conference record since its 3-4 Big Eight mark in 1968. The Huskers' five regular-season losses already are the most since the 1961 team went 3-6-1, and Saturday's loss dropped their road record against ranked teams to 1-7 under coach Frank Solich.
Nebraska still leads the series 72-13, with two ties, but Kansas State's previous largest margin was a 27-0 shutout in 1953.
The Wildcats (9-2, 5-2) had their largest margin against a longtime opponent for the third straight week. They beat Kansas 64-0 and Iowa State 58-7.
Roberson's rushing output, on 29 carries, broke Michael Bishop's quarterback record of 196 yards set against Missouri in 1997. It was the second-best rushing day ever for the Wildcats, behind Mike Lawrence's 252-yard game against Iowa State in 1996.
Roberson's long run put the Wildcats ahead 14-0. He also had a 1-yard keeper for a TD on Kansas State's opening drive and a 25-yarder in the fourth quarter that made it 35-13.
The Wildcats extended their home winning streak against the Cornhuskers to three games -- something they and their fans have come to expect, defensive end Andrew Shull said.
"It's a great win for us,'' Shull said, "but I would have been really disappointed if our fans had run out and tried to tear down the goal posts.''
The Wildcats' defense shut down a Nebraska running game that had gone over the 300-yard mark in five of the Huskers' previous six games.
Nebraska managed just 97 yards on the ground, 38 in the first half. Quarterback Jammal Lord was sacked six times and held to 21 yards on 47 carries.
"Anything is better than 97 yards rushing,'' Cornhuskers center John Garrison said. "That's just sick.''
Despite Kansas State's 507-231 edge in total yardage, the Wildcats' execution was far from perfect.
Roberson fumbled twice and lost both. The second -- forced by Scott Shanle's sack and recovered by Trevor Johnson -- set up a 35-yard run by Lord that cut Kansas State's lead to 21-13 early in the third quarter.
Sproles fumbled two plays later, and safety Josh Bullocks recovered at the Wildcats 24. The Cornhuskers failed to convert, though, as Josh Brown's 28-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
"That was an opportune time for us to make that a ballgame,'' Solich said. "We did some things that worked out OK in the third quarter, but nearly not enough of them to make it work.''
Sproles made up for the fumble on Kansas State's next drive, scoring on an 8-yard run to make it 28-13. Nebraska drove back downfield and got as far as the Wildcats 11, but Terry Pierce threw Lord for a 3-yard loss on fourth-and-1.
Kansas State had a big day on special teams as well.
Marvcus Patton blocked Kyle Larson's punt near the Huskers goal line in the second quarter, and Jerad Johnson recovered the ball in a crowded end zone for a 21-3 lead.