Nebraska gets husked 45-21

Quarterback Allen Webb and running back Darren Sproles combined for 282 rushing yards as K-State snaped its three-game losing skid with a big win at home over Nebraska Saturday. The win keeps the Wildcats' bowl hopes alive.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers entered Saturday's game at Kansas State with the No. 2 rush defense nationally.

The Cornhuskers left the game husked by the Wildcats for 294 yards on the ground as K-State defeated Nebraska 45-21 to end its three-game losing streak.

K-State has taken three straight and five of the last seven over Nebraska.

Darren Sproles described sophomore quarterback Allen Webb's performance in place of the injured Dylan Meier as "Ell-like."

"It reminded me of the Third," Sproles said of former K-State quarterback Ell Roberson III.

In fact, it may have been due to Webb's athletic ability that opened up K-State's running game for the first in a month. Sproles had 135 on the ground, but it was Webb's 147 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns that proved to be more surprising. He was 14-of-23 for 124 yards passing with no interceptions.

However, the fans and media might have been the only ones that were surprised by Webb's dismantling of Nebraska (4-3, 2-2 Big 12)

"I think it's the Allen Webb we anticipated and thought could do many of the things he did today," K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. "I think what was most important was that he took the time to prepare. I was proud of him and Del Miller, our quarterbacks coach. Del spent a lot of time trying to get him prepared. He spent more time in preparation that he has and that's what quarterbacks have to do. Great quarterbacks do exactly that."

And to answer and questions of perhaps a quarterback controversy in Manhattan, Snyder had one response.

"Dylan is our quarterback," he said.

In the running game, K-State (3-4, 1-3) revisited the option attack, something that had been absent in the last few weeks. It gave the threat of two electric runners and prevented the Husker defense from keying exclusively on Sproles.

Sproles ran for 100 yards in the second half, including runs of 34 and 30 yards to set up Wildcat touchdowns. Sproles broke the school record for touchdowns with one his two on the day in the second quarter.

It was the first quarterback-running back combo to eclipse 100 yards each since Sproles and Roberson did it against California last season.

Snyder said that with Webb in the game, the option game "lends itself to what Webb is capable of doing."

And as far as what Sproles did, Snyder said his prized senior running back isn't defined by one game, but rather by what he has done his entire career. Sproles broke his own streak of three games without 100 yards.

"If Darren doesn't get the numbers, everyone still knows who Darren Sproles is," he said. "There isn't any doubt about the quality of play that he brings, how well he plays and what he means to our team. I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind about that. If it took 135 yards for someone to be able to define him that way, they have no clue about this game."

Though K-State's offense was quite impressive in the victory, it might be what the defense did, that might have the Wildcats turning a corner as they fight to stay bowl eligible.

The Wildcat defense gave up 222 total yards to Nebraska, but 138 of them came on three plays. Sophomore quarterback Joe Dailey completed just three passes in the contest, but one was for 65 yards and another was for 55—both in the second half. The longest Nebraska rush of the day was a 20-yard burst from tailback Brandon Jackson.

If not for the three plays, K-State holds Nebraska to just 84 yards. K-State's defense shut out Nebraska in the second half. The only score by Nebraska in the second half came on a botched K-State punt and Husker fumble recovery with 11:19 left in the third quarter.

"I thought we were very good in the second half and we were really good in the first half, except we made a few irreprehensible mistakes," Snyder said. "We gave up two big plays they got touchdowns off of and that's 14 points."

In the fourth quarter, K-State's defense put the clamp down even harder by forcing four turnovers in a span of 6:35.

"We needed that because this whole season has been based on us not finishing," senior defensive end Kevin Huntley said. "We would play good for a couple of series, every other series. We wanted to build some momentum and carry it over to a great day of defense."

 

NEWS & NOTES

  • K-State had 418 total yards of offense to Nebraska's 222.
  • Saturday's attendance of 52,234 was the fifth largest crowd in KSU Stadium history. The combined attendance from last week's Oklahoma game and Saturday's Nebraska game is the largest-ever for back-to-back games (104,544).
  • Darren Sproles now has 6,025 career all-purpose yards. He passed Texas' Ricky Williams for the most all-purpose yards in Big 12 Conference history.
  • The 147 rushing yards by Webb makes him the first quarterback to reach the 100-yard plateau since Roberson did it in 2003 against KU (103 yards).
  • Tim Reyer had a 67 yard punt in the second quarter, the longest of his career and the 2004 season collectively.
  • Sproles now has 42 career touchdowns with the two he had against Nebraska. He moved ahead of Roberson. He had 39 career rushing scores is two short of breaking Roberson's mark of 40 career rushing touchdowns.
  • Webb had four rushing TD in the game, the most for a single Wildcat player since Sproles had three against Iowa State Nov. 8, 2003. It was the most for a quarterback since Roberson rushed for three against Troy State in 2003.
  • Junior cornerback Maurice Porter recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter. He also had one tackle in the game.
  • The Huskers' average starting field position was its own 25, while the Wildcats' was its own 43. It was the best of the season for K-State.
  • Junior defensive end Tearrius George made his first career start in place of Scott Edmonds, who is injured. George had six tackles and a sack for a loss of 16 yards. Huntley contributed on the other side of the line with six tackles as well, including a forced fumble and a sack for a loss of 13 yards.
  • K-State's next action is back at home against Texas Tech next week. The game will be televised on Fox Sports and kickoff is at 6 p.m. It will be the homecoming game of the season for the Wildcats and mark the end of the three-game home stand before going back on the road at Colorado and Missouri. K-State wraps up the season at home against Iowa State.

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