Roberson Ignites K-State
Roberson Ignites KState to Lead Past Nebraska in Lincoln
By Joshua Kinder
LINCOLN, Neb—Quarterbacks are remembered for defining moments and victories in big games.
Saturday Kansas State's senior quarterback Ell Roberson had his defining moment, in perhaps the most important game against Nebraska in a while as the No. 25 Wildcats defeated the 15th-ranked Cornhuskers 38-9 at Memorial Stadium to end a 17-game losing streak in Nebraska.
Riding 313 passing yards, another 90 rushing, and three touchdowns from Roberson, K-State hung 561 offensive yards on what was the No. 8 defense in the nation for Nebraska entering the game.
The Wildcats (9-3, 5-2 Big 12) closed out the victory in front of a hoard of K-State fans that outnumbered Huskers still in their seats during the fourth quarter.
"It's very satisfying, for our players and our coaches, but what's extremely important to me is that the long suffering fans are happy this evening," coach Bill Snyder said. "A lot of people have been put in some great anguish over the years with Kansas State football and I think this a little bit of a reward for them."
Snyder said that despite Roberson's three interceptions, the good things he did on the field clearly outweighed the mistakes.
"I think Ell would like to have a few things back in this ball game, and it probably wasn't as good as he wanted it to be, but he did so many good things and made some excellent throws when we needed them. What it a defining moment for him? I think what a defining moment was for Ell in my eyes, are the things he did from a leadership standpoint through the course of the past two or three days that I really haven't seen before."
One part of Roberson's game that quarterbacks coach Dell Miller said he showed against Nebraska (8-3, 4-3) is the ability to overcome his mistakes.
"He's really done a good job of that this year, when bad things happen to him, which interceptions aren't something a quarterback likes to have, he's able to put it behind him and get beyond it," he said. "And I think that's his experience coming through."
After playing to a 7-7 tie in the first half, the Wildcats' first points of 24 unanswered in the second half came on an 11-yard Roberson run that was set up after K-State linebacker Bryan Hickman forced a Jammal Lord fumble on Nebraska's own 23.
Then after a Joe Rheem field goal of 27 yards, the Wildcats reached the end zone again, this time on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Roberson down the left sideline to senior receiver James Terry to make it 24-7. It was the first of two long scoring passes to Terry, who had six receptions for 175 yards. The second also came in the fourth quarter, a 37-yard strike with 9:55 left in the game to put the Cats up 31-7.
Then for good measure, K-State punched the ball in again from six yards out on a run from Ayo Saba. The score was set up by Darren Sproles' 41-yard rush off the right tackle. Sproles had 140 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns, including the only touchdown for K-State in the first half on a 22 yard scamper in which he dragged the defender the final five yards to the end zone.
Nebraska's lone touchdown came on a pass from Lord to Mark LeFlore of six yards and despite Lord's knee appearing to be down before he threw the ball. It's the only touchdown K-State has allowed in the last 16 quarters, while holding Nebraska to just 77 yards in the second half.
"I still think we can play better defense," senior defensive end Andrew Shull said. "I'm never going to say that we've peaked or anything. We made some mistakes today and we're going to get them corrected and hopefully play even better."
But perhaps the most important implication from the Wildcats' win over the Corn is that K-State's game against Missouri next week decides who will play Oklahoma in Kansas City for the Big 12 Championship.
Snyder was quick to point out, though happy about the win in Lincoln, K-State isn't finished playing and it's won nothing yet.
"We haven't won a division championship yet, not this year," Snyder said. "We've got a lot ahead of us. All this did was give us a right to
Purple Pride Top Stories
Best from the Big 12 in Week 8Oklahoma at Texas Tech smashed NCAA and FBS records, while West Virginia remains undefeated.
Scout CFB7:00 AM
Big 12 Power Rankings: Week 7Looking at the Big 12 Power Rankings, with a change at the top
Bears IllustratedWednesday at 6:43 AM
TEXAS LONGHORNS TALK KANSAS STATEOffensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and Longhorns look ahead to Saturday's road game at Kansas State.
Horns DigestTuesday at 4:34 PM
SOURCES: NO NEW MEMBERS ADDED TO BIG 12Multiple sources told HornsDigest.com - despite a three-month evaluation of 30 possible expansion candidates and a list that was narrowed to 11 finalists - no new members were…