Take it from Darnell McDonald. The injury that sent Kansas State quarterback Michael Bishop limping to the sideline Saturday "is no concern at all."
"It's just a little minor thing," the wide receiver said Saturday after the fourth-ranked Wildcats powered their way past Iowa State 52-7 despite losing their quarterback and also missing two starting linebackers.
"It'll be over by next week. He'll be back playing well," McDonald said.
Bishop, who leads the Big 12 in total offense, threw three TD passes before he left the game with 13 minutes remaining in the third. He was favoring his right leg.
The Wildcats (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) hardly missed him. Backup Adam Helm immediately completed an 80-yard touchdown march with a 1-yard run for a 35-0 lead with 7:06 left in the third as Kansas State stretched its school-record winning streak to 15 games.
Eric Hickson broke school records for career rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, and K-State piled up 573 yards in total offense.
| Frank Murphy's 11-yard touchdown run helped salt Kansas State's 52-7 rout. (AP) |
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder refuses to provide information on injuries, bt he did say he thought Bishop is "going to be all right. But we'll have tests done and that's all I'll tell you."
Saturday's margin of victory was the biggest ever for Kansas State in the 82-game series.
"That's a national championship-caliber team," said Iowa State coach Dan McCarney. "Bill's got it all, and he deserves every great thing that can happen to that football team this year. Bishop is truly an outstanding player. I'm glad I don't have to face him any more."
Bishop, who has thrown 15 touchdown passes this season, wound up with 270 yards in total offense in a little more than a half, including 216 yards passing.
Hickson, a senior who missed the 1996 season with a broken leg, scored his school-record 24th rushing touchdown on a 5-yard run on Kansas State's first possession. His 3-yard carry with about five minutes remaining gave him 117 yards for the day and 2,268 for his career, eclipsing the record of 2,265 by Michael Lawrence from 1994-97.
"It's special to me because I've had a long career here at Kansas State and I went through a lot of trials and tribulations, but somehow I seem to overcome them," Hickson said.
Iowa State (2-5, 0-4) averted its first shutout since 1991 when Todd Bandhauer hit Damien Groce with a 14-yard TD pass with 7:05 left.
Nevertheless, it was the sixth time in seven games that Kansas State, which started the day ranked third nationally in total defense, has held an opponent under 10 points.
"K-State's defense is pretty good," said Groce. "They are really good and should be ranked higher than they are."
Iowa State's Darren Davis, who was averaging 126 yards rushing per game, had just 18 yards on 15 carries.
"We thought we could control the running game pretty well," said defensive coordinator Mike Stoopes. "We feel like the way we set up our defense, we're going to make it tough on most people to run on us."
Bishop kept Kansas State's second drive alive with a 20-yard strike to McDonald on third-and-15, then connected with Aaron Lockett for a 13-yard scoring pass with 4:26 left in the opening period.
Bishop, who has also scored seven rushing touchdowns, scrambled 12 yards on third down a few minutes later, then the Wildcats got another 15 yards when Iowa State was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the tackle. Two plays later, McDonald beat Dawon Anderson into the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
With 19 seconds left in the half, Bishop connected with Gavin Peries on a 30-yard touchdown strike for a 28-0 lead.
Helm's 33-yard pass to Everett Burnett set up Brian Goolsby's 9-yard touchdown run to make it 45-0 with 10:33 left.
Martin Gramatica hit a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and Frank Murphy had an 11-yard touchdown dash with 26 seconds to go.
© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved