BIG EIGHT ROUNDUP : Kansas Remains Unbeaten With 54-14 Victory
With their highest point total in eight years and their first unbeaten September in a decade, the Kansas Jayhawks found themselves in the unfamiliar role of feeling sorry for somebody else.
“I have a lot of empathy for a team like New Mexico State,” Kansas Coach Glen Mason said Saturday after his team scored 30 second-quarter points en route to a 54-14 victory over New Mexico State at Lawrence, Kan. “I’ve had to piece things together every week, too, and it’s difficult.”
It’s the first 3-0 start since 1985 for the Jayhawks, who are idle next week.
“After today’s game we should be clicking next week, so with a week off we’ll be just as good if not better,” said quarterback Chip Hilleary, who scored twice and passed for a touchdown.
Just three years ago the Jayhawks won only one game in Mason’s first year. Last year, they won three games.
But Kansas’ 54 points against the winless Aggies was the most its scored since a 57-6 victory over Wichita State on Sept. 17, 1983.
“The offense really is coming along,” said senior fullback Roger Robben, who scored two of Kansas’ four second-quarter touchdowns. “It finally felt like we started moving the ball better. And the defense was stable this week, too.”
Tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter, Kansas scored four touchdowns and a safety to take a 37-7 halftime lead over the Aggies (0-2).
Hilleary, who scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter, connected with a wide-open Kenny Drayton on a 43-yard touchdown pass play and concluded the outburst with a nine-yard scoring run in the final 16 seconds of the half.
Tony Sands rushed for 105 yards in 19 carries for Kansas.
“This may be a top 15 team.” New Mexico State Coach Jim Hess said of the Jayhawks.
Charley Bowen, who mishandled a punt that led to New Mexico State’s touchdown in the first quarter, atoned for his mistake by blocking a punt out of the end zone for a safety with 1:05 remaining in the first half.
The Jayhawks took over on the Aggies’ 36-yard line following the ensuing kick, and Hilleary completed four consecutive passes, including one for 22 yards to George White, setting up his own nine-yard scoring run.
Sands accounted for 42 of the 53 yards Kansas covered in its first touchdown drive. New Mexico State tied it on Jimmie Mitchell’s 13-yard scoring run following Bowen’s muffed punt.
The Aggies drove 63 yards on 10 plays in the third quarter with Billy Borten going around right end for one yard for the touchdown following David Chisum’s 11-yard pass to Fred Montgomery.
Backup quarterback Nate Florell led Kansas on a nine-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter, ending it with a one-yard plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter.
No. 7 Oklahoma 55, Utah State 21--The Sooners rushed for 243 yards in the first half, most on runs straight up the middle, in building a 35-7 halftime lead at Norman, Okla.
Dewell Brewer gained 144 yards and scored three touchdowns for the Sooners (2-0), who finished with 424 yards on the ground and 571 overall.
Earnest Williams rushed for 109 yards and one touchdown.
Utah State’s Ron Lopez passed for 314 yards, but had four passes intercepted, including one that was returned for a touchdown and another in the end zone that ended a second-quarter drive.
Tracey Jenkins caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns for Utah State, including a 49-yarder that tied the score 7-7 in the first quarter.
Rod Moore had seven receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.
The Sooner offense, which sputtered in last week’s 40-2 victory over North Texas, dominated the line and broke open wide gaps up the middle.
Four drives each totalled 80 yards and two others covered 76 and 79 yards.
Oklahoma quarterback Cale Gundy completed eight of 12 passes for 139 yards, including a 39-yard completion to a diving Ted Long on the Sooners’ fourth drive.
The Sooners, who had six interceptions last week, got four more against Utah State.
Joe Bowden returned one interception 28 yards for a touchdown to give Oklahoma a 28-7 lead in the second quarter.
Charles Franks returned another 51 yards late in the game.