Updated: Sunday, September 7, 2003 12:47 AM EDT
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(6) Kansas St 55, Mcneese St 14
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MANHATTAN, Kansas (Ticker) -- No. 6 Kansas State continued to coast through a favorable early schedule, scoring early touchdowns on defense and special teams in a 55-14 victory over Division I-AA NcNeese State.

The Wildcats (3-0) put it away early as safety Rashad Washington's 45-yard interception return for a touchdown capped a 24-point first quarter.

Just 45 seconds into the second period, David Rose recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to make it 31-0.

"We have good offense, good defense and good special teams," Wildcats coach Bill Snyder said. "We just have to play hard for four quarters. We can't play well in one half and lay off the other half. Playing other teams, we could get beat like that."

Kansas State, which has won 38 straight regular-season games against non-conference opponents, plays Massachusetts, another Division I-AA opponent, next week. The following week, the Wildcats host Marshall before getting their first major test against Texas in the Big 12 Conference opener on October 4.

Darren Sproles, who missed the second half of last week's contest against Troy State with a leg injury, rushed for 101 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown for the Wildcats.

Ell Roberson completed just 3-of-6 passes for 63 yards and a score for Kansas State.

Roberson threw a 43-yard TD pass to James Terry to give the Wildcats a 10-0 lead with 9:43 left in the first period.

However, Roberson suffered an left wrist injury in the second quarter and did not return. Kansas State's top two offensive weapons have been injured in back-to-back games.

"If we can't handle things like that, then we're in for a long haul," Snyder said. "Whoever it is, if somebody gets dinged up, then somebody has to step up and play."

Sproles ran in from 34 yards with 1:20 left in the first quarter and Washington scored just 22 seconds later to make it 24-0. Washington also set up another score with a blocked punt.

"We turned the ball over and gave them easy scores," McNeese State coach Tommy Tate said. "They exposed a lot of weaknesses and we'll try to work on that and get better."

With the contest out of reach, Scott Pendarvis of McNeese State (1-1) threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter. Pendarvis completed just 8-of-22 passes for 129 yards.

"We didn't play the type of ballgame we wanted to play," Kansas State free safety Rashad Washington said. "We gave up 14 points and we gave up 200-something yards to a Division I-AA team."

"We gave up too many yards in the running game and the passing game," Wildcats linebacker Josh Buhl added. "I still think we have some problems to fix on defense."

Vick King rushed for 46 yards to lead McNeese State, the defending Division I-AA national champions.

Kansas State held a 400-267 edge in total offense. Ten players had at least one carry for the Wildcats, who rushed for 254 yards.


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