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Published: Saturday, 1/3/2004

Jenkins takes No.1 in receiving yards

BY DAVID VEST
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

TEMPE, Ariz. - Ohio State senior split end Michael Jenkins caught five passes for 96 yards last night, and became the school's all-time leader in receiving yards.

Jenkins broke David Boston's career mark of 2,855 yards when he leaped and grabbed a 37-yard pass from Craig Krenzel along the left sideline with 5:42 left in the third quarter.

Jenkins finished his Ohio State career with 2,898 yards in receptions.

“It's a special honor to be up their with those guys,” Jenkins said after the game. “It's a nice feeling right now.”

Boston, who now plays for the NFL's San Diego Chargers, amassed his total from 1996-98.

Jenkins made 165 catches for the Buckeyes, third-best in school history.

Boston had 191 career grabs, and Cris Carter caught 168.

STOUT START: Ohio State's defense set the tone for the 35-28 victory with an impressive first-half performance.

The Buckeyes forced Kansas State to punt on its first six drives and intercepted a pass on its seventh as Ohio State built a 21-0 lead.

Kansas State gained just 19 yards on 15 plays in the first quarter and did not get a first down until 53 seconds into the second period.

“I think they underestimated our speed on defense,” defensive end Will Smith said.

FINISHING FLURRY: Krenzel tossed four touchdown passes to match his season high for one game and set an Ohio State bowl record.

The senior also threw for four scores against North Carolina State on Sept. 13.

Krenzel completed 11 of 24 pass attempts for 189 yards and was named the offensive most valuable player despite throwing two interceptions.

Ohio State sophomore linebacker A.J. Hawk was voted the most valuable player on defense.

A SHOT OF BOOS: Unlike last year's Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State fans clearly were outnumbered at Sun Devil Stadium last night.

They made themselves heard, however, when Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson took the field for the first time.

Roberson, who was accused of sexual assault by a 22-year-old Kansas State alumnus on Thursday morning, started the game and was welcomed by boos from Ohio State's side of the stadium.

Kansas State issued a statement before the game that stated a review of the allegations made against Roberson led the university to conclude that no criminal act had occurred.

“The University views this situation very seriously and has been working closely with law enforcement through this investigation,” Kansas State athletic director Tim Weiser said. “We appreciate the manner in which this investigation is being handled and look forward to an expeditious resolution.”

NO FIESTA SIESTA: With the victory, Ohio State upped its Fiesta Bowl record to 3-1.

The Buckeyes beat Miami (Fla.) 31-24 in double overtime to win the national championship last year, and defeated Pittsburgh 28-23 in 1984.

Ohio State's lone Fiesta Bowl defeat came in 1980 when Penn State outscored the Buckeyes 31-19.



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