Johnson, K-State rushes past Colorado, 47-20

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- James Johnson ran for 159 yards and two scores, Deon Murphy caught one touchdown pass and scored on a 20-yard reverse and Kansas State knocked Colorado out of the Big 12 North lead with a 47-20 victory Saturday night.


Johnson opened Kansas State's scoring with a 5-yard run in the first quarter and closed it with a 63-yard TD burst late in the fourth.


Brooks Rossman kicked four field goals for the Wildcats (4-2, 2-1 Big 12), including a 52-yarder as time ran out in the first half for a 23-13 lead. He was the first Kansas State player with four field goals in a game since Joe Rheem hit four against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 18, 2004.


Rossman missed tying Jamie Rheem's single-game school record of five field goals when he was short on a 46-yarder against the wind in the fourth quarter. He could have taken a shot from 39 yards in the game's final seconds, but coach Ron Prince elected to let the clock run out.


Colorado (4-3, 2-1) now trails No. 20 Kansas by a half-game in the North. The Buffaloes got a career-high 171 yards rushing and one touchdown from Hugh Charles, but those were overshadowed by four turnovers -- including Cody Hawkins' three interceptions.


Colorado also made two fourth-down mistakes that let Kansas State pad its lead at key points in the game. Rossman's 52-yarder came after Colorado coach Dan Hawkins' failed decision to go for it on fourth-and-6 from Kansas States 46 with 25 seconds left in the first half.


And in the closing seconds of the third quarter, Colorado punter Matt DiLallo dropped a snap just outside his own end zone. Daniel Gonzalez blocked DiLallo's punt, and Courtney Herndon recovered in the end zone for a 40-20 lead.


Murphy's first score put the Wildcats up 17-3 late in the first quarter. As quarterback Josh Freeman and Johnson took off right on an option play, Murphy -- who was lined up wide right -- headed straight for them.


He cut between Freeman and Johnson, took the pitch and swept untouched around the left side for the score.


Just after the midpoint of the third quarter, Murphy's 28-yard catch made it 30-13. He caught Freeman's pass over the middle, juked two defenders off their feet and outraced cornerback Gardner McKay to the flag.


Kansas State, which never trailed, went up 10-0 on Johnsons 5-yard TD run and Rossman's 20-yard field goal in the first quarter. The Buffaloes got within 10-3 on Kevin Eberhart's 50-yard field goal later in the first.


They closed the gap to seven points twice more. Cody Hawkins' 1-yard pass to Jake Behrens got Colorado within 17-10 early in the second quarter, and Eberhart's 24-yard field goal narrowed Kansas State's lead to 20-13 later in the second.


Charles' 1-yard run got the Buffaloes within 30-20 in the third quarter, but Rossman answered with his fourth field goal, a 39-yarder, for a 33-20 lead.