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Thursday, October 7, 2004

X-Factor Week 6: Kansas State 42, Kansas 10

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For 30 minutes, it looked like the virtual Kansas University football team would end an 11-year losing streak to Kansas State, trailing just 14-10 at halftime.

Just 12 minutes later, though, the Wildcats had taken a 35-10 lead, putting the Jayhawks out of the game and cruising the rest of the way to a 42-10 victory in this week's X-Factor simulation.

The virtual Jayhawks drew first blood, taking a 7-0 lead nine minutes into the game on a one-yard scoring run by Austine Nwabuisi.

As has been the case the past few games, KU's defense made the lead stand up for much of the first half, forcing K-State to punt on its first seven possessions. Rodney Harris picked off Dylan Meier on the Wildcats' eight drive, as KU held Meier to just one completion in his first 13 attempts.

Meier finally got on track midway through the second quarter, connecting on back-to-back plays to Antoine Polite. The second completion was a 45-yard touchdown where Polite caught the ball on an in route and then outraced four Jayhawks to the end zone.

The Wildcats started with great field position two drives later after a 40-yard punt return by Darren Sproles down the right sideline. Two plays later, Sproles scored from 11 yards out, giving K-State a 14-7 lead with just less than seven minutes left before halftime.

The Jayhawks came right back with a 28-yard field goal by Scott Webb six plays later. KU had two chances to tie the game, but Brandon Rideau dropped back-to-back passes in the end zone on second and third down.

KU's defense forced punts on Kansas State's next two drives, and the Jayhawk offense appeared to take advantage with a 26-yard pass from Adam Barmann to John Randle into the red zone on third down. One play later, though, Nwabuisi fumbled after a four-yard catch, and the Wildcats recovered at their own eight-yard line.

The Jayhawks had one more possession in the first half after Tony Stubbs dropped Sproles for a three-yard loss on third-and-inches, but KU went three-and-out and K-State ran out the clock.

Neither team could score on their first two drives of the second half, but Kansas State finally put the ball in the end zone on a one-yard run by fullback Victor Mann with 10:30 left in the third period.

Over the next seven minutes, Kansas State added two more touchdowns - a 23-yard pass to Jermaine Moreira and a 24-yard pass to Sproles - and effectively ended the game.

The Jayhawks gained just three first downs and 162 offensive yards after halftime, as Barmann was just 8-of-21 passing for 137 yards. Randled gained just 45 yards on 16 carries after intermission.

Polite added a touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter, giving him 10 receptions for 240 yards and a score on the day. Meier was just 17-of-44 passing, but threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns.



Sproles finished the game with 342 total yards - including 163 yards on 36 rushes - and two touchdowns.

Barmann finished 21-of-61 passing for 346 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Randle rushed 29 times for 132 yards, and Rideau caught seven passes for 116 yards. Mark Simmons added five grabs for 98 yards.

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