On a record-setting day, after a slow start, the Wildcat train got rolling as K-State blocked two punts and rebounded from an early 7-0 deficit to blow out Colorado 49-20.
While the spotlight is once again on the Wildcats, who snapped a three-game losing streak and maintain control of their own destiny in the Big 12 North, it shines a little more brightly on K-State's starting quarterback, Ell Roberson.
Roberson, much-maligned in recent weeks for sketchy performances following an injured hand, completed 20-of-28 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns -- all without tossing an interception.
But it was a record-setting day in more than one way. On K-State's first touchdown, a two-yard Roberson scamper, the senior quarterback became K-State's all-time touchdown leader with 32, breaking Josh Scobey's record of 31. Later in the half, on a 40 yard touchdown pass to Davin Dennis, Roberson surpassed Lynn Dickey as K-State's all-time total offense leader.
"We played good defense most of the game," Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. "But must of the game we concentrated on the run and gave up the pass."
Having a multitude of receivers also helped Roberson, who had just 49 yards rushing on 23 carries.
Terry continued to lead the way for the Cats, catching eight passes for 84 yards and snaring two touchdown grabs -- both in the second half after K-State held a tenuous 15-13 lead. The first came on a 10-yard pass from Roberson on the first drive of the third quarter, capping a 9-play, 65 yard drive to give K-State a 22-13 lead. The second was on an eight-yard screen early in the fourth quarter that pulled K-State ahead 35-13.
But Terry had already been the steadying hand in the Wildcat receiving corps, and his breakout game against the Buffs can also be attributed to spreading the wealth. Roberson hit six different receivers, including Antoine Polite's five grabs for 52 yards and Dennis's 4 catches for 73 yards -- one of which was that 40-yard first-half touchdown.
Colorado got off to a good start, driving 76 yards on 14 plays to take a 7-0 lead on its first possesion. After a K-State punt, the Cats held Colorado to four-and-out. Punter John Torp, standing at his own 17 yard line, had his punt attempt blocked off his foot by senior safety Rashad Washington. The ball, squibbing toward the goalline, was eventually knocked out of bounds for a safety -- but coach Bill Snyder said it should have been recovered for a touchdown.
"That's five points," he said. "That's two instead of seven."
The Cats would get seven though, driving 67 yards after the free kick to put the Cats ahead 9-7. K-State would never trail the rest of the way.
There were moments, however, that got Wildcat hearts thumping. K-State took a 15-7 lead late in the second quarter only to see Buffalo return specialist Jeremy Bloom race 88 yards for an answering touchdown, sending the game to half at 15-13.
But after Terry's touchdown grab to start the second half, Washington blocked his second punt of the game -- the fourth time he's blocked a punt this season -- and it was recovered by gunner Joe Lawson for the Wildcat touchdown.
And entering the fourth quarter, with the game still in doubt, 29-13, K-State started to dominate. The Cats scored on their first possession of the quarter on Terry's touchdown grab, K-State scored on their next two possessions -- an 18 yard Darren Sproles touchdown run followed by a Roberson sneak to give the Cats the final 49-20 margin.
Sproles finished the game with 90 yards on 14 carries, leaving him 17 yards shy of Eric Hickson's career rushing record. Jermaine Berry led the defense with 13 tackles, while Josh Buhl finished with 12 stops.
While Snyder liked the game's outcome, he liked the intensity his team played with even better.
"It's the intensity," he said, "whether you're doing well or not at a particular point in time."
Cats pummel Buffs, 49-20
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