Cal Comes Up Short Against No. 5 Kansas State, 42-28
By STEVE BRISENDINE
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Ell Roberson threw for 295 yards and a career-highthree touchdowns and ran for 145 more yards and another score, leading No. 7Kansas State to a 42-28 win over California on Saturday night in the seasonopener for both teams.
Darren Sproles ran for a career-high 175 yards and one touchdown on 22carries for the Wildcats, whose win in the Black Coaches Association Classicwas their 14th straight season-opening victory. Sproles' 11th career 100-yardgame set a school record, and he extended his own record with his 10thconsecutive 100-yard game.
Roberson threw TD passes of 5 yards to Travis Wilson and 57 yards to JamesTerry as the Wildcats took a 27-14 halftime lead. He finished 9-for-18 andcarried 18 times.
Roberson's 11-yard scoring run and 2-point conversion carry midway throughthe third quarter gave the Wildcats a decisive 35-14 advantage. A holdingpenalty on Kansas State's next drive wiped out what would have been a 35-yardTD pass to Terry, but Roberson connected with Davin Dennis from 28 yards for a42-21 lead in the fourth quarter.
Offense was rarely a problem for Kansas State, which scored on its firstfive possessions and rolled up 540 yards.
Defense - especially pass defense - was another story.
The Wildcats did have two sacks, one interception and a key fourth-down stopagainst Cal quarterback Reggie Robertson.
Robertson, who was lifted for Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter butreturned when a hard hit knocked Rodgers out of the game, was 16-for-29 for 257yards and three touchdowns against a secondary which lost two starters -including All-America cornerback Terence Newman - from last year's 11-2 team.
Rodgers was 9-for-13 for 121 yards with one touchdown, a 22-yarder to J.J.Arrington that cut Kansas State's lead to 35-21 early in the fourth quarter.
With just under 4ï¿½ minutes left in the game, Robertson's 7-yard shovel passto Arrington cut Kansas State's lead to 42-28. The Bears tried an onside kick,but Joe Lawson covered it for the Wildcats.
Sproles ran 53 yards on his first carry of the game, setting up his 5-yardrun three plays later for a 7-0 lead. But Robertson was 4-for-5 on the GoldenBears' next drive, capped by his 34-yard pass to Vincent Strang to tie it at 7.
Joe Rheem's 22-yard field goal put the Wildcats ahead for good, 10-7, andKansas State began to pull away with a goal-line stand and a 98-yard TD drive.
On the first play of the second quarter, California went for it on fourthdown from inside Kansas State's 1. Linebacker Josh Buhl stuffed Robertson atthe 2.
Roberson took over on the ensuing drive. He carried eight times for 70yards, then threw to Wilson for a 17-7 lead.
After Rheem's 37-yard field goal made it 20-7 and James McGill'sinterception gave the Wildcats the ball again, Roberson put together his mostimpressive play of the night.
Roberson got safety Harrison Smith to bite early on a pump fake, then lofteda perfectly timed throw over Smith's head to a wide-open Terry. Terry pulledthe ball in at the Bears' 35 and raced in untouched to put the Wildcats up27-7.
Four plays after that, Cal's Geoff McArthur outjumped cornerback RandyJordan at the Wildcats' 40 and went down the right sideline to complete a65-yard TD play that got the Bears within 27-14.