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Updated: Saturday, January 3, 2004 2:34 AM EST
NCAA FOOTBALL RECAP
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(6) Ohio St 35, (10) Kansas St 28
OHIO ST. BUCKEYES
Ohio St. Buckeyes
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KANSAS ST. WILDCATS
Kansas St. Wildcats
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TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) -- In a career of one big play after another, it was only fitting that Craig Krenzel made several in his final game at Ohio State.

Krenzel went out a winner on the same field where Ohio State captured a national championship last season, throwing four touchdown passes in the sixth-ranked Buckeyes' 35-28 Fiesta Bowl victory over No. 10 Kansas State.

Krenzel completed 11-of-24 passes for 189 yards to finish his career at Ohio State with a sterling 24-3 mark that included last year's thrilling double overtime win over Miami in the national title game.

"We did not want to be a senior class that contributed to a national championship and went out losing their last two games," said Krenzel, alluding to the Buckeyes' loss to Michigan in their regular-season finale. "We went out and played for pride tonight, to show the country that we belonged in a BCS bowl."

Two of the TDs went to Michael Jenkins, who became the Buckeyes' all-time leader in career receiving yardage. He finished with 2,988 yards, breaking David Boston's previous Ohio State mark of 2,855 set from 1996-98.

"It is a special honor to be up there with those guys that have here in the past," Jenkins said.

Following a turbulent 24 hours in which he was identified as a possible suspect in an alleged sexual assault, Ell Roberson was allowed to start for the Wildcats (11-4). No arrests have been made in the incident.

"Ell Roberson was not guilty of what he was charged of," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "He hasn't been charged. Considering that, it was my decision to allow him to play in the ballgame."

It took Roberson too long to figure out the Buckeyes' defense as Kansas State could not overcome deficits of 21-0 and 35-14.

After closing to 35-28 on Roberson's one-yard TD run with 2:47 remaining, the Wildcats got a final possession. But their hopes ended when Roberson's "Hail Mary" pass from the Ohio State 48 fell incomplete as time expired.

"Ohio State beat Kansas State University and they did it because they were a bettter team," said Snyder, who admitted Roberson's situation might have been a distraction for the Wildcats. "But that can be an excuse."

While Kansas State showed some spark in the second half, it was not the same team that stunned Oklahoma, 35-7, in the Big 12 Conference championship.

The Buckeyes jumped to a 21-0 lead midway through the first quarter as John Rollins recovered a blocked punt in the end zone, Krenzel tossed a six-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes and Chris Gamble's interception set up Krenzel's 17-yard TD strike to Jenkins.

After Kansas State closed to 21-14, Krenzel responded with TD tosses of eight and 31 yards to Jenkins in the third quarter. For the second straight year, Krenzel was named MVP in Ohio State's bowl game.

"Craig is a competitive guy that has got an unbelievable passion to do what his team needs and for his team to succeed," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "I'm not shocked that he was the MVP again, because he prepared extremely hard for this football game."

Roberson completed just 20-of-51 passes for 294 yards and ran for only 32 yards on 16 carries. Darren Sproles was held to 38 yards on 13 attempts.


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