MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Darren Sproles ran for 152 yards and
three touchdowns and backup quarterback Jeff Schwinn passed for 228
yards as Kansas State (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) beat Massachusetts 38-7 Saturday.
Sproles had 115 yards at halftime and sparked a 21-0 burst in
the second quarter after the Minutemen of Division I-AA surprised
the Wildcats (4-0) by taking a 7-3 lead.
Schwinn, a former walk-on stepping in for the injured Ell
Roberson, was intercepted twice, including on his first possession.
But the little-used senior eventually found his range and went
17-of-26 with one touchdown pass against a Massachusetts defense
that was clearly at a speed disadvantage.
Roberson, one of the nation's top run/pass threats, went out
indefinitely last week with an injured left hand.
Schwinn, in his first start in almost five years since he
quarterbacked tiny McLouth, Kan., High School, threw a 7-yard
touchdown pass to tight end Brian Casey in the second quarter to
give the Wildcats a 10-7 lead.
His 31-yard completion to James Terry set up Sproles with a
1-yard TD run in the third that put the Wildcats on top 31-7 and
sent them on their way to their 41st straight nonconference home
win. It was the 10th victory overall for Kansas State, the
fourth-longest in the nation.
The Minutemen (1-1) stunned Kansas State when Jeff Krohn
connected with Jason Peebler on a 65-yard touchdown play on the
game's first series. Peebler got behind Louis Lavender, who
replaced departed All-America cornerback Terence Newman, and went
the final 30 yards untouched.
Terry had eight catches for 120 yards for the Wildcats, who have
won 10 in a row over I-AA opponents.
Sproles, who had a career-high 175 yards the week before against
I-AA McNeese State, broke loose on a 42-yard run in the second
quarter and a moment later scored on a 2-yard plunge.
On the Wildcats' second touchdown drive, he had runs of 7, 13
and 16 yards on consecutive carries. The 5-foot-7 junior also had
an 8-yard TD run.
The Minutemen were effectively shut down the final three
quarters and wound up with a net 27 yards rushing compared with
Kansas State's 235.
Late in the fourth quarter, the crowd roared when redshirt
freshman Dylan Meier replaced Schwinn and hit Terry for a 27-yard
gain on his first pass. Meier capped a 57-yard drive with an 8-yard
The crowd of 46,000, expecting another easy victory against an
overmatched I-AA team, fell silent when Steve Costello intercepted
Schwinn's pass in the opening period.
Joe Rheem's 38-yard field goal was the only score the sputtering
Wildcats could muster in the first quarter _ on a drive that was
aided by a 15-yard pass interference penalty against the Minutemen.