3:35 PM ET, November 22, 2008
Bill Snyder Stadium, MANHATTAN, KS
Freeman makes Kansas St. a winner in Prince's finale with four TDs
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Josh Freeman threw four touchdown passes and Kansas State sent Ron Prince out a winner, beating Iowa State 38-30 Saturday three weeks after the Wildcats fired their embattled coach.
Prince, hired three seasons ago without any previous head coaching experience, leaves with a record of 17-20. The victory enabled the Wildcats (5-7, 2-6 Big 12) to squeeze past Iowa State (2-10, 0-8) and escape last place in the Big 12 North.
Kansas State has not yet hired a replacement for Prince, although athletic director Bob Krause said when announcing the firing that he wanted to pick a successor before the end of the season. Among those whose names have been mentioned are TCU coach Gary Patterson and former Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, who retired after the 2005 season and was followed by Prince.
Prince's Big 12 record got progressively worse, going from 4-4 in 2006 to 3-5 last year and 2-6 in 2008. Given a contract extension before this season, he was rewarded with a buyout of almost $1.3 million when he was fired but asked to stay for the three final games. The Wildcats got blown out by Missouri and Nebraska in their first two games with a lame duck coach.
The future could become similarly perilous for Gene Chizik, who is 5-19 in two seasons as Iowa State head coach. After winning their first two games, the Cyclones ended the season on a 10-game losing streak.
Austen Arnaud was 31-for-45 for 440 yards and three touchdowns for Iowa State, which lost its 17th straight on the road and has given up 226 points in its last five games.
Brandon Banks had seven catches for 116 yards for Kansas State, including a 20-yard touchdown, and became the sixth receiver in school history to go over 1,000 yards in a season.
It might also have been the last game at Kansas State for Freeman, the 6-foot-6 junior quarterback who holds career school records for attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and total offense. Freeman, whose four TD passes tied a school record, has said he intends to come back for his senior season. But an early entry into the NFL might be tempting if he's assured of first-round draft status.
The most highly sought recruit Prince signed at Kansas State, Freeman was 17-for-30 for 279 yards and four TDs against Iowa State's weak defense. The four touchdown passes had been accomplished 12 other times.
Freeman showed on several throws why NFL scouts have been at every game. His first scoring pass was a beauty of a 44-yard strike to Deon Murphy, who was double-covered but caught the ball perfectly in stride. He also snapped off a 5-yard TD pass to Murphy that made it 35-17 in the third quarter and connected with Ernie Pierce on a 19-yard strike after Josh Moore interception.
Lamark Brown's 1-yard run gave Kansas State a 7-0 lead in the first quarter after Ian Campbell blocked his third field goal of the year, a Kansas State record.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||11-18||9-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||0-2|
|TD||07:51||Lamark Brown 1 Yd Run (Brooks Rossman Kick)||0||7|
|TD||00:52||Jason Scales 3 Yd Run (Grant Mahoney Kick)||7||7|
|TD||13:44||Deon Murphy 44 Yd Pass From Josh Freeman (Brooks Rossman Kick)||7||14|
|TD||10:48||R.J. Sumrall 19 Yd Pass From Austen Arnaud (Grant Mahoney Kick)||14||14|
|TD||05:28||Brandon Banks 20 Yd Pass From Josh Freeman (Brooks Rossman Kick)||14||21|
|TD||01:21||Ernie Pierce 19 Yd Pass From Josh Freeman (Brooks Rossman Kick)||14||28|
|FG||00:00||Grant Mahoney 48 Yd||17||28|
|TD||06:31||Deon Murphy 5 Yd Pass From Josh Freeman (Brooks Rossman Kick)||17||35|
|TD||06:01||Marquis Hamilton 28 Yd Pass From Austen Arnaud (Grant Mahoney Kick)||24||35|
|FG||02:17||Brooks Rossman 49 Yd||24||38|
|TD||00:00||R.J. Sumrall 5 Yd Pass From Austen Arnaud||30||38|