Kansas State overpowers top-ranked Oklahoma 35-7 for its first BCS berth.
By Associated Press
Published December 7, 2003
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ell Roberson and Kansas State spoiled Oklahoma's undefeated season, creating chaos in the BCS that could still end up with the Sooners in the national title game.
Roberson threw four touchdowns, Darren Sproles ran for 235 yards and the 13th-ranked Wildcats shredded No. 1 Oklahoma's vaunted defense in a 35-7 victory Saturday night that gave them their first conference title in 69 years.
"They outplayed us in every part of the game," coach Bob Stoops said. "They took it to us in every part of the game."
Despite the overwhelming defeat in the Big 12 championship game, analysts still believe the Sooners (12-1) will remain in the top two in the BCS standings today and earn a berth in the Sugar Bowl for the national title. Kansas State will go to the Fiesta Bowl, its first BCS game ever.
With the Sugar Bowl wrapped up before the game, the Sooners came in hearing talk about where they would rank in history.
Roberson and the Wildcats (11-3) delivered an emphatic answer - second best in the Big 12. The win was the biggest in Kansas State's history, giving the school its first title since winning the Big Six in 1934.
The Wildcats have won seven straight since a three-game skid early in the season knocked them out of the Top 25. This was the crowning achievement in coach Bill Snyder's career at the school.
When he took over in 1989, Kansas State was viewed as one of the worst programs in the nation. But he built it from scratch and after many heartbreaks finally came through in a big game, beating a Top 3 team for the first time in school history.
Oklahoma looked out of synch, failing to generate a running game against Kansas State's stout front and giving little protection to Jason White.
White was under constant pressure from Thomas Houchin and endured many hard hits. The Heisman Trophy favorite finished 27-of-50 for 298 yards, two interceptions and zero touchdowns.
White's first pick stopped a drive in the end zone and his second was returned 27 yards by Ted Sims for a TD to make it 35-7 early in the fourth quarter. White also missed an open Lance Donley on a fourth-and-1 play late in the second quarter.
Roberson looked more like the Heisman Trophy candidate, delivering the big plays when the Wildcats needed them.
Usually reliable kicker Trey DiCarlo missed a pair of field goals - just his second and third of the season - and Oklahoma's top-ranked defense was picked apart by Roberson.
He threw three touchdowns in the second quarter, including a 60-yarder to Sproles and a 63-yarder to James Terry, as the Wildcats seized control.
Roberson also hit Brian Casey on a 19-yard TD to tie the score early in the second quarter and added a 10-yarder to Antoine Polite in the third quarter.
The Sooners, who had trailed fewer than six minutes all season, found themselves on the wrong side of a blowout - the worst in Stoops' five years at Oklahoma. Mike Stoops, Oklahoma's co-defensive coordinator, was coaching his final game for the Sooners before taking over as Arizona's coach.
Bob Stoops stressed all week the coaching change would not affect the game, but the Sooners looked uninspired.
The Wildcats had four plays go for longer than 60 yards - the longest plays all season against Oklahoma.
The Sooners's touchdown came when Kejuan Jones ran 42 yards for a touchdown on their fourth play from scrimmage.