Kansas State hoping to avoid fourth straight loss

Updated: October 17, 2003, 5:11 AM ET

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State is looking to break a few records -- and a monthlong losing streak.

Senior quarterback Ell Roberson and junior running back Darren Sproles are both closing in on significant school career marks, any or all of which could fall when the Wildcats host Colorado on Saturday.

But all the records in the book won't resurrect Kansas State's Big 12 North title hopes if the Buffaloes hand the Wildcats -- the preseason favorites in the division -- their fourth straight loss.

"If we happen to break a record during a win, then that's great," said Sproles, who needs 107 yards rushing to break Eric Hickson's career record of 2,537. "But honestly, we don't think about stats and records, especially during a game."

Roberson, who has rushed for six touchdowns this season, needs one more TD run to set career records for both rushing TDs and total TDs. He has 31, even though he didn't secure his spot as starter until the midpoint of his junior season.

"Roberson is a very good player. He's tough to tackle. He's the key," Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. You've got to somehow find a way to corral him."

Roberson also needs 61 yards in total offense to break Lynn Dickey's career record of 5,779, which has stood since Dickey's senior season ended in 1970.

Both marks would seem to be within easy reach, given that Colorado (3-3, 1-1 Big 12 North) has given up 35 or more points in five of its six games this year.

Last week, the Buffaloes needed overtime to beat Kansas 50-47 -- a week after being stunned 42-30 by perennial Big 12 doormat Baylor.

But while getting on the scoreboard shouldn't be a problem for the Wildcats, containing Colorado could be another matter. In its first two Big 12 games, Kansas State (4-3, 0-2) has given up an average of 31 points.

The Wildcats have held only one NCAA Division I-A opponent to fewer than 24 points, giving up 28 to California, 27 to Marshall, 24 to Texas and 38 to Oklahoma State. Those last three opponents beat them -- Marshall by seven points, Texas and Oklahoma State by four apiece.

"Where they haven't been typical Kansas State has been their defense," Barnett said. "They've given up some points, more than they're used to giving up. If there is any change, that's where it is."

Joel Klatt, Colorado's sophomore quarterback, missed two games with a separated shoulder but came back to throw for 419 yards last week against Kansas. It was his second 400-yard game of the season, after he made his debut with 402 yards passing against Colorado State.

"Right now our offense is playing with a lot of confidence," Barnett said. "Joel obviously is the catalyst there. He's incredible to watch."

With No. 24 Missouri's win over No. 18 Nebraska last week keeping the Cornhuskers from pulling away in the North, Kansas State and Colorado -- the defending Big 12 champion -- could still win the division by running the table.

"This whole thing is up for grabs, and it's going to be interesting to watch it unfold," Barnett said. "For us, we have to expect to see a team that's like a wounded animal that's going to come out fighting."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index