In some areas, there has never game like it; in other areas, there have been very few games like it.
In Saturday’s 49-7 victory over Tennessee Tech, Kansas State’s Brandon Banks became the first Wildcat, and the first Big 12 performer, to ever return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a single game. For that matter, he’s one of just 11 athletes (12 times) to accomplish the feat in
While the returns went for 92 and 91 yards, Banks also caught 90 yards worth of passes, returned punts for 29 yards, plus had a rushing yard for a total of 303 all-purpose yards, fifth high in K-State history.
“You have to give credit to those other 10 guys,” Banks said. “I just ran the ball.”
Banks was pretty much quiet through the first two games this season when his returns were modest and his receptions were for less than 10 yards per catch.
The 5-foot-7, 150-pound senior showed a glimpse of a break-out game at UCLA when he returned three kickoffs for a total of 135 yards, and then came Saturday when he averaged over 38 yards per touching of the football.
“That’s the kind of play we need going into Big 12,” said Banks, who is averaging 39.4 yards on 10 kickoff returns this year. “I hope to make a few more of those during the next few weeks. That’s what I’m capable of doing.”
With his two kickoff returns for scores, Banks did something that hadn’t been done since 2005 when UCLA’s Brandon Breazell took a pair of kickoffs for scores.
For Banks, the scores ended a season of frustration as he had not hit the end zone through the first three games prior to Saturday.
“I haven’t been playing like I’d like,” said Banks, who now leads the Big 12 in kickoff return yards, average, touchdowns, plus all-purpose yards (169 per game).
Banks added, “There’s no better time to start (playing better) than now. These are Big 12 games coming up. It’s a faster game and Big 12 players are hungrier to win and they play harder.”
SINGLE-SEASON KANSAS STATE RECORD BOOK
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS --
1. Darren Sproles, 2004, 187.9 yards per game;
2. Sproles, 2003, 182.3 yards per game;
3. Mack Herron, 1969, 171.9 yards per game;
4. Brandon Banks, 2009 169.5 yards per game
KICKOFF RETURNS – TOUCHDOWNS:
1. Brandon Banks, 2009, 2;
Mack Herron, 1968, 2
KICKOFF RETURN AVERAGE –
1. Brandon Banks, 2009, 39.4;
2. Mack Herron, 1968, 29.2