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Huskies' Kaufman questions role in upset loss

An upset loss to Oregon has Washington tailback Napoleon Kaufman grumbling about not getting the ball enough, especially when the game is on the line.

"I always want the ball," he said. "You may call me greedy or whatever, but I want the ball. If I have to carry the team on my shoulders that's what I want to do."

Kaufman's Heisman Trophy hopes have dimmed after two straight "average" performances. He had 80 yards in 18 carries two weeks ago against Arizona State, then managed 101 yards in 23 attempts in Saturday's 31-20 loss to Oregon. Take away his one long run, for 37 yards, and he averaged 2.9 yards per carry.

Kaufman had five carries for 9 yards in the fourth quarter. On Washington's final drive, after Oregon had gone 98 yards in 11 plays to take a 24-20 lead, he had no carries. One pass was thrown to him. It was incomplete.

"You've got to talk to the coaches about that," he said. "I want the ball whenever but, I mean, I don't call the plays.

"It comes down to a point where you say, "Who's going to step up?' You can't step up if you don't have the ball."

Colorado narrows poll gap

Second-ranked Colorado and No. 3 Nebraska stayed on course for a Big Eight showdown Saturday in Lincoln.

The Buffaloes closed within four points of No. 1 Penn State in the college football poll after beating Kansas State 35-21 Saturday. The Nittany Lions, who led Colorado by 13 points last week, were idle.

Penn State (6-0) received 19 first-place votes and 1,486 points, while Colorado (7-0) got 16 firsts and 1,482 points.

Nebraska (8-0) received 24 first-place votes and 1,461 points after defeating Missouri 42-7.

The Big Eight title and a possible national championship will be on the line when Colorado visits Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have won 21 straight at home, but the Buffaloes have a remarkable road record (22-4-1) since 1989.

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