August 31, 2008

Juco receivers deliver big bang in debut

Maybe Josh Freeman knew what he was talking about when he predicted Kansas State's wide receivers would make up for Jordy Nelson's production this season. The tandem of junior newcomers Aubrey Quarles and Brandon Banks came mightily close to combining to match the All-American's numbers during the Wildcats' 45-6 romp of North Texas on Saturday. But each also did something that the Wildcats haven't seen around here in a season opener in many years.

How's this for starters?

With six catches for 57 yards, Quarles recorded the most receptions by a first-year player in a season opener since a freshman named Kevin Lockett had seven catches for 92 yards in his debut against New Mexico State in 1993.

Two of Banks' three catches resulted in scores. His two touchdown catches are the most in an opener since Justin Swift had a pair of touchdown receptions against Northern Illinois to start 1997.

And as for that Nelson fellow? Nelson averaged 10 catches, 134 yards and nearly one touchdown as one of the most-dominant pass catchers in the nation a year ago.

Quarles and Banks totaled nine catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

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