With the rest of the country waiting at least another week before opening the season, Saturday was expected to serve as a showcase for Roberson, who is being touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate, and Sproles, who ran for a school record 1,465 yards last season.
Both opened the season in style. Roberson ran for 145 yards on 18 carries and threw TD passes to Travis Wilson, James Terry and Davin Dennis. Sproles carried 22 times and scored Kansas State's first TD on a five-yard run.
California lost 24 seniors from last year's 7-5 team. The Golden Bears stayed within striking distance, trailing by 13 points at halftime and by 14 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats gained 535 yards.