MANHATTAN, Kan. – Collin Klein accounted for four touchdowns, Arthur Brown returned an interception 37 yards for another score and No. 4 Kansas State roughed up No. 15 Texas Tech 55-24 on Saturday.
Klein was 19 of 26 for 233 yards and two touchdowns, and had 83 yards and two more scores on the ground — bolstering his credentials for the Heisman Trophy. Most of the offense came in the second half as the Wildcats (5-0 Big 12) blew open a 13-10 game to improve to 8-0 for the first time since 1999.
John Hubert added 64 yards and two rushing TDs, and Angelo Pease also scored for Kansas State, which came into the game trailing only Alabama and Florida in the BCS standings.
Seth Doege threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns for the Red Raiders (6-2, 3-2), but also had a costly interception. Doege had thrown for 13 touchdowns in wins over West Virginia and TCU the last two weeks to jump into the Heisman conversation.
Of course, Klein is a major part of that discussion.
The senior quarterback, now 19-4 as a starter, moved into seventh in Big 12 history with 49 touchdowns rushing. And his vastly improved passing game, a subject of ridicule last season, has helped the Wildcats pile up big points on offense this year.
They've scored more than 50 in a game five times.
The Red Raiders' second-half meltdown was similar to last year's matchup in Lubbock, when they blew a 28-20 lead against Kansas State by turning it over three times in the fourth quarter.
Things started off well enough for Texas Tech.
Doege took advantage of soft coverage on the opening series of the game, completing six of his first eight passes. An encroachment penalty on third down kept the drive alive, and Doege finished it off with a 32-yard touchdown toss to Eric Ward.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, couldn't get anything going.
Klein was sacked to end their first series, and had a pass tipped on third down to end their second. By the end of the quarter, Kansas State had just 19 yards of offense.
The defense provided a jolt late in the quarter when Meshak Williams delivered a crushing blindside hit on Doege, popping the ball loose. Jarrel Childs went the other way for what appeared to be a 74-yard TD return, but an illegal block brought the ball back to the Texas Tech 14.
Kansas State had to settle for Anthony Cantele's 34-yard field goal.
Ryan Bustin matched it with a 37-yarder to cap the Red Raiders' next possession, but Kansas State finally started humming. Hubert capped off its ensuing drive by winning a race to the pylon after getting stood up at the line of scrimmage to make it 10-all.
Bustin had a 50-yard field goal blocked on Texas Tech's next series, and Kansas State's quick-strike offense set up a 19-yarder by Cantele for the halftime lead.
It was a sign that everything was starting to go right for the Wildcats.
Four straight plays of 10-plus yards to start the second half led to a 21-yard TD toss from Klein to Tramaine Thompson. And after Ward fumbled on the Red Raiders' first offensive play of the third quarter, Klein needed only two plays to scamper in from 16 yards out for a 27-10 lead.
Sadale Foster's touchdown run gave the Red Raiders some flickering hope, but Klein added a 22-yard TD run, Hubert had a 15-yarder early in the fourth quarter, and Brown's pick-six snuffed it out completely. Pease added his score midway through the quarter to cap the scoring binge.
Ward hauled in his second TD catch in the closing minutes for the final margin.