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Archive for Monday, September 26, 2005

Fisher boosts Wildcats

Freshman’s huge day invigorating K-State

September 26, 2005

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— Kansas State waited its entire history for a freshman to run for 100 yards in a game. Parrish Fisher did it in a quarter.

The arrest of emerging star Thomas Clayton on Sept. 16 might have led to the unveiling of the Wildcats' next outstanding running back.

Subbing for Clayton, who was disciplined by sitting on the bench all day, Fisher set a school freshman record Saturday by rushing for 169 yards. He added 59 yards receiving in his first college start.

He had 106 yards in just the second quarter alone as the Wildcats scored four touchdowns en route to a 54-7 blowout of North Texas that included a school-record 658 yards of total offense.

With Fisher showing both running and receiving skills and Clayton leading the NCAA in rushing average before he ran afoul of campus parking services, fears of how Kansas State will make up for the loss of career rushing leader Darren Sproles have eased.

Coach Bill Snyder wishes he hadn't compared Fisher with Sproles last summer.

"That'd be stretching it a great deal," Snyder said Saturday.

"I think I said -- and maybe it was a mistake to say so -- I said at one time if there was anybody he would remind you of in making a comparison, Parrish may be a little bit like Darren," Snyder said. "But only a little bit. I assure you he has a long ways to go before we can talk about that."

Still, the Wildcats seemed to come a long way against the Mean Green (1-2). Allen Webb solidified his hold on the No. 1 quarterback spot by passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He put up 12 passes and hit 10, including three for 40 or more yards.

The Mean Green (1-2), 54-2 losers last week to Tulsa, totaled just 161 yards.

They had 32 yards on their first play from scrimmage and were stymied the rest of the day, finally getting a touchdown with a little more than two minutes left.

"We held them under 100 total yards before the last drive," Kansas State linebacker Ted Sims said. "That's still a great game for the defense. We were trying to get a goose egg, but we're still proud of the way we played."

Since Clayton's case has still not been resolved by police and prosecutors, Snyder is not saying whether he will play in Saturday's Big 12 Conference opener at Oklahoma.

But with Webb hitting all but two of 12 passes and Fisher piling up yards, K-State could again be a contender in the Big 12 North.

"I like the fact that we had people in place to have a chance to make plays," Snyder said.

Clayton, who ran for 329 yards -- the most in school history for the first two games of a season -- was arrested on a complaint of aggravated battery after driving away from and allegedly grazing a campus parking services employee.

Prosecutors are reviewing the case before deciding what formal charge, if any, to file.

"It hasn't run its course yet," Snyder said. "It's probably inappropriate for me to say anything. We'll wait to see what happens. My stance has not changed."

Perhaps not. But Kansas State's depth at running back is not the same. Fisher is certain to get the attention this week of Oklahoma coaches.

"He had a very good game. The offensive line blocked real well, and he found the creases to make the plays," North Texas safety Aaron Weathers said.

Fisher already had made fans among his own teammates.

"Throughout camp, I've always been a big supporter of Parrish," said left tackle Jeromey Clary, a team captain. "When Thomas comes back, I think we'll have a high-powered two-back offense. We're sitting in a great position with two great running backs back there."

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