October 14, 2007

Murphy, Wildcats surge back into Top 25

Able to leave multiple defenders stumbling and grasping for air, able to beat opponents to the pylon and make them look clueless on a reverse, wide receiver Deon Murphy was the X-factor for a Kansas State offense that outwitted and raced past Colorado for a 47-20 win on Saturday. More than anything, though, the 5-foot-10, 170-pounder hoped to help his team regain its identity as it fought late into the night to remain alive in the North.

"We played K-State football tonight," Murphy said. "That's what we want to do every week."

On a night when both K-State and Colorado each surrendered gobs of yards unbefitting of their current reputation in defense (Colorado entered at No. 21, K-State at No. 22), Murphy scored twice -- once on 20-yard reverse, another on a 28-yard catch-and-run -- and running back James Johnson had a career-high 159 yards on the ground and two scores to lift the Wildcats to their second win in as many years against the Buffaloes.

Equally important, determined K-State showed little sign of hangover coming off a six-point loss to Kansas last weekend and answered the week-long challenge posed by second-year Coach Ron Prince. His candid, eyebrow-raising admission following the contest underlined the importance of capturing a victory against Buffaloes, who entered on a three-game winning streak and with a one-game edge in the division.

"We basically told the players this was a hill that we were going to be willing to die on," Prince said. "That's kind of an inappropriate metaphor, but we just said we were going to dig-in and our season might hinge on this game and we were going to play with everything we've got."

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