LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Jake Sharp had 257 total yards and tied a school record with four touchdowns, and Kansas had a season-best 280 yards rushing to overwhelm rival Kansas State 52-21 on Saturday.
Kansas (6-3, 3-2 Big 12) was reeling after giving up more than 1,200 yards in losses to Oklahoma and Texas Tech the previous two weeks. The Jayhawks bounced back quickly, manhandling Kansas State (4-5, 1-4) in the 106th meeting between the instate rivals to become bowl eligible and remain in the hunt for the Big 12 North title.
Kansas ran for six touchdowns -- one short of the school record -- and harassed Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman into four turnovers, giving him 14 during Kansas' first three-game winning streak in the Sunflower Showdown since 1988-90.
Kansas steamrolled Kansas State from the start, setting a season-best with 198 yards rushing by halftime and forcing four turnovers -- three by Freeman -- to take a 31-0 lead. The Jayhawks cruised from there, holding Kansas State to 264 total yards and scoring their most points in the series since a 55-0 win in 1947.
Lamark Brown was the only bright spot for Kansas State, scoring on runs of 4, 11 and 1 yards, though all three came after the game was out of reach.
Sharp did most of the damage early, bursting through huge holes in the offensive line.
The junior from Salina -- not far from Kansas State -- had 118 yards on nine carries and scored on runs of 4, 20 and 47 yards in the first quarter to put Kansas up 21-0. Sharp added a 2-yard touchdown run in the third to put Kansas up 45-7 and finished with a career-best 181 yards rushing. He also caught five passes for 76 yards.
On the other side of the ball, Kansas gave Freeman fits -- again.
The junior had five interceptions and four fumbles his first two games against Kansas, and had given the ball away three more times before the first half was over in this one.
Freeman threw an interception on his third pass attempt of the game, the ball fluttering into the hands of Kansas' Russel Brorsen at the Jayhawks' 42 after he was hit from behind by defensive end Jake Laptad. Sharp scored 70 seconds later, bursting off right tackle on a 20-yard run.
Freeman finally got the Wildcats going late in the second quarter, converting a pair of fourth downs to get the Wildcats to the 1-yard line, only to lose the ball while trying to reach over the goal line. Kansas recovered and methodically marched 80 yards for a 15-yard touchdown run by quarterback Todd Reesing to go up 31-0.
Freeman's third turnover of the first half came on a Hail Mary pass in the end zone after Kansas State knocked down Jacob Branstetter's 33-yard field goal try, it's nation-best eighth blocked kick of the season. Freeman also fumbled in the third quarter -- Kansas State recovered -- and threw his third interception in the fourth.
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