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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Jayhawks lose Whittemore in 42-6 loss to Wildcats

Senior quarterback 'unlikely' to play again

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— The good -- Kansas University's football team held Kansas State to just 42 points Saturday at KSU Stadium, a year after giving up 64 points to the Wildcats at home.

The bad -- The Jayhawks mustered just two field goals themselves, losing to the Wildcats by 36 points.

The ugly -- KU quarterback Bill Whittemore left the game late in the first quarter with an apparent injury to his right shoulder and likely is out for the rest of the season.

"It's unlikely you'll see him the rest of the year," KU head coach Mark Mangino said. "There's an outside chance he will play in the Iowa State game, but it's going to be a real stretch for him to play in that game."

Whittemore, who was hit hard and piled on just one play before an 18-yard field goal by Johnny Beck late in the first half, left the field with KU trainers and was not moving his right arm while walking. After being attended to on the sideline, Whittemore was taken to the locker room and did not return. The injury is believed to be to his right collarbone.

"We've got to move on," Mangino said. "We've got other quarterbacks in our program that we've just got to get ready to play. There are no excuses. We dressed 70 kids today, and one got hurt, and 69 others played and we didn't get it done."

This is the fourth straight season Whittemore has been injured. He missed the final three games last year with a knee injury, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury at Fort Scott Community College, and injured his knee the previous year at Tennesse-Martin.

"It's painful. He's had a painful career," Mangino said. "He's such a playmaker. He's such a great player, and a great kid. Players look up to him, and we all respect him. We'll dig in and find a way to get it done. But I feel terrible for Bill."

When asked who would replace Whittemore, Mangino told reporters not to be surprised if they saw freshman quarterback Adam Barmann play next Saturday against Texas A&M; in College Station, Texas.

Mangino said the coaching staff would make a decision on next week's starter Monday or Tuesday, and that Barmann couldn't play against KSU because he hadn't been involved enough in the game plan and wasn't prepared.

Brian Luke replaced Whittemore against the Wildcats, and fumbled on his first play, a handoff to Clark Green. K-State (6-3 overall, 2-2 Big 12) scored on the next play, taking advantage of another Jayhawk injury.

Roberson hit Davin Dennis for a 20-yard touchdown pass over Shelton Simmons, who was playing in place of Donnie Amadi, who left the game midway through the first quarter and is now on the sideline with his knee wrapped in ice.

John Nielsen replaced Luke on KU's next drive, handing off cleanly to Green for a seven-yard gain on first down. Green left the field apparently hurt on the next play, but returned to action on KU's final possession of the half.

After Whittemore's injury, the Jayhawks (5-3, 2-2) gained just five first downs and 84 yards -- 44 in the second quarter, nine in the third quarter and 31 in the fourth. KU also moved across midfield just once after Whittemore left the game.

"That goes to the poise factor," Mangino said of Whittemore's injury affecting the rest of the team. "If a player gets hurt, we've got to keep going. We've got to pick it up, and we can't let that affect us. We did. I could sense it on the sideline. We've got to be emotionally tougher and overcome those things. Good football teams pull through situations like that and keep fighting."

KU's defense started strong, stopping K-State on the Wildcats' first three drives, forcing two punts and two fumbles.

After the second punt, though, KSU cornerback Randy Johnson intercepted Whittemore, and Ell Roberson scored K-State's first touchdown seven plays later on a one-yard run on fourth down.

KU marched downfield on the ensuing drive, including a 22-yard pass from Whittemore to Green and a 26-yard run by John Randle, before settling for the field goal on fourth-and-goal from KSU's one-yard line.

The Jayhawks forced a Wildcat punt on KSU's next drive, but the turnover on the Luke-Green handoff came just a play later.

KU appeared to have stopped KSU late in the second quarter, but the Jayhawks were flagged for illegal participation on a punt return, giving the Wildcats another chance.

K-State made the Jayhawks pay for the mistake, scoring seven plays later on a seven-yard run by Sproles. Moderick Johnson was shaken up on the extra-point kick and was attended to by KU trainers on the field but ran to the sideline with no help and later returned to the game.

The Jayhawks went three-and-out on the ensuing drive before Sproles returned Curtis Ansel's 39-yard punt 63 yards for his second touchdown of the game, giving KSU a 28-3 halftime lead.

Beck brought the Jayhawks within 22 points with 11:42 left in the third quarter with a 51-yard field goal, his longest kick of the year. His previous long this season was a 37-yarder against UNLV.

"Johnny booted the ball pretty well today, and I was happy to see that," Mangino said.

KSU regained momentum on the next drive, moving 80 yards in 10 plays and scoring on a 1-yard run by Victor Mann, and, after forcing a short punt, the Wildcats scored again, this time on a one-yard run by Roberson at the end of a nine-play drive.

KU's struggling offense finished with just 160 total yards -- 89 on the ground and 71 passing -- and seven first downs. KU also was flagged for season highs of 11 penalties for 90 yards.

Green rushed 10 times for 55 yards, and John Randle added 44 yards on 10 carries.

Whittemore finished 4-of-7 passing for 38 yards and an interception and rushed four times for seven yards. Nielsen was 8-of-12 passing for just 33 yards and lost 17 yards on six carries.

Roberson finished 10-of-19 passing for 138 yards and a touchdown. He rushed 18 times for 103 yards and two scores.

Sproles carried the ball 19 times for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Nick Reid led KU with 14 total tackles -- seven solo and seven unassisted. Banks Floodman and Gabe Toomey had eight tackles each, and Jonathan Lamb had six tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

NOTES

  • The victory was K-State's 11th straight win over the Jayhawks.
  • KU's six points were the fewest the Jayhawks had scored since last season's 64-0 loss to the Wildcats in Lawrence.
  • Kenneth Thompson, KU's extra defensive back in the nickel package, made the trip to Manhattan, but did not play because of an undisclosed injury. He wasn't on the sideline during the first half, but was on the sideline, suited up and wearing an elbow brace during the second half, though he didn't play.
  • Quarterback Joe Hogan didn't make the trip, either. Instead, KU brought the following five quarterbacks -- Bill Whittemore, Brian Luke, John Nielson, Adam Barmann and Kevin Long.
  • Travis Watkins was off his crutches on the sideline, but was not suited.
  • KU brought three kickers -- Johnny Beck, transfer Jerod Brooks and freshman Scott Webb. Brooks practiced kickoffs and field goals in pregame warm-ups.
  • The temperature at kickoff was 54 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and wind out of the northwest at 4 mph and gusts up to 17 mph. The attendance was 51,614.
  • Greg Heaggans 28-yard kickoff return after Roberson's first touchdown run moved Heaggans into first place on KU's career kickoff return yardage list. Heaggans now has 1,105 kickoff return yards, passing Maurice Douglas' previous record of 1,077 yards.
  • Midway through the second quarter, Darren Sproles became KSU's all-time leading rusher, passing Eric Hickson. Sproles now has 2,619 yards, eclipsing Hickson's mark of 2,537 yards. The game also was Sproles' 20th career game with more than 100 all-purpose yards.
  • Green, Mark Simmons and Charles Gordon each have caught at least one pass in every game this season. Green has caught at least one pass in 19 straight games.
  • ann's touchdown run was the first of his career.

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