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Kansas St. clinches share of Big 12 North title

11/16/2003

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- In his 15 years at Kansas State, Bill
Snyder has turned one of the nation's worst programs into one of
the best.

But he still couldn't win at Nebraska.

That changed dramatically on Saturday.

Kansas State not only won in Lincoln for the first time since
1968 with its 38-9 victory, but also handed the Cornhuskers (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP)
their worst home loss since 1958.

"It was a very satisfying game for our players and coaches,"
Snyder said. "Extremely important to me is the fact that
long-suffering Kansas State football fans are happy this evening.
There are a lot of people who have had some great anguish over the
years, and this is something of a reward for them."

Ell Roberson passed for 313 yards and the two touchdowns that
broke open the game in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats would go on to deal the Huskers their worst loss at
Memorial Stadium since a 31-0 setback against Missouri on Nov. 1,
1958.

More important for K-State was that the victory clinched a share
of the Big 12 North title and gave the Wildcats the inside track to
a meeting with South champion Oklahoma in the Dec. 6 conference
championship game.

Kansas State (9-3, 5-2 Big 12) became only the sixth visiting
team to beat the Huskers (8-3, 4-3) in the last 107 games in
Lincoln. The Wildcats' last win at Nebraska was 12-0 on Nov. 9,
1968.

"This stirs up the rivalry again," Roberson said. "It will go
on forever. It's going to continue way after we're all gone. It's a
fact that K-State's gotten way better, so now we can go to Nebraska
and play."

K-State's win was too decisive for Nebraska defensive
coordinator Bo Pelini's taste.

Pelini said he didn't appreciate Kansas State having Roberson
and school career rushing leader Darren Sproles on the field late
in the game against Nebraska's defensive reserves.

Pelini started to confront Snyder after the game, but a member
of the Nebraska staff took Pelini by the arm and led him away.

"I told him I didn't like it," Pelini said. "I let him know
that's not the way I've gone about things in the organizations I've
been in."

Said Snyder: "I don't think I want to repeat what he called
me."

Nebraska head coach Frank Solich said he had an opinion about
K-State's fourth-quarter decorum but that he wouldn't share it.

"That's the way it is," Solich said.

Roberson, who ran for a career-high 228 yards and three TDs in
last year's 49-13 win over Nebraska in Manhattan, Kan., was just as
dominant Saturday.

In addition to having his second 300-yard passing day of the
season, Roberson rushed 22 times for 90 yards and a touchdown. He
completed 15 of 28 passes but was intercepted three times after
going four games without being picked off.

"Ell would like to have a few things back in this ballgame,"
Snyder said. "But he did so many very, very good things and made
some excellent throws when we needed them."

Sproles, who had 155 yards and three touchdowns last year
against Nebraska, had 140 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.

The Huskers managed only 77 yards in the second half and 293 for
the game.

The Wildcats, who amassed a season-high 561 yards, generated 313
yards after halftime. They ran off 24 straight points before giving
up an intentional safety as they lined up to punt out of their end
zone.

K-State scored twice in the third quarter to break a 7-7
halftime tie.

"The third quarter was disastrous. The fourth quarter didn't
get any better," Solich said. "It definitely caved in on us."

Roberson ran untouched into the end zone from 11 yards out after
blitzing linebacker Bryan Hickman popped the ball loose with his
blind-side hit on Nebraska's Jammal Lord, and Andrew Shull
recovered inside the Cornhuskers 30.

After Nebraska went three and out, Kansas State mounted a
15-play drive that ate up more than six minutes before Joe Rheem
kicked a 27-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead.

Roberson and James Terry then connected on touchdown passes of
63 and 37 yards to put the Wildcats up 31-7.

Nebraska tied it at 7 in the second quarter after Josh Bullocks
ran back his Big 12-record 10th interception of the season 41 yards
from out of the end zone.

On third-and-4 from the 6, Kansas State defensive end Thomas
Houchin started to pull down the scrambling Lord from behind. But
before his knee hit the turf, Lord unloaded the ball to a wide-open
Mark LeFlore in the end zone for the first offensive touchdown
allowed by Kansas State in 13 quarters.

Lord completed only eight of 26 passes for 98 yards, with two
interceptions. He ran 21 times for 88 yards in his last home game.

"This is probably the worst feeling," Lord said.