Kansas State capitalized on five Oklahoma State turnovers to turn what had the potential to be a trap game into a 44-30 win on Saturday night. QB Collin Klein furthered his Heisman Trophy campaign with no turnovers and a rushing touchdown.
Running back John Hubert had two touchdowns for the Wildcats, who moved to 9-0 (6-0) on the season. Oklahoma State drops to 5-3 (3-2), still needing a win to become bowl eligible.
Allen Chapman was a force for the K-State defense, picking off Cowboy QBs three times, including one in the end zone to put the game away.
The Wildcats looked to be in trouble early on, as Cowboy QB Wes Lunt connected with Austin Hays for a 54-yard touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. But Kansas State went on a 31-10 scoring run to close out the first half, then cemented its lead with an early touchdown in the third quarter.
Both QBs would be removed after the Wildcats' first third-quarter possession, both with apparent injuries. Carson Cunningham had the scoop on his symptoms on the sidelines for the Cowboys.
Robert Allen says, "Wes Lunt is having a hard time seeing, nauseous. May have to throw up. He's not himself." #okstate— Carson Cunningham (@CarsonC5) November 4, 2012
It sounds like a concussion for Lunt. Clint Chelf came on and led the Cowboys for the rest of the game, and finished with 200 yards passing as his team was trying to climb out of a 20-point deficit.
That effort wasn't enough to knock off the No. 2 team in the nation, however, even with Klein was on the sidelines for most of the second half. He was lifted in favor of Daniel Sams after punching in a two-yard touchdown run to start the third. It was his only touchdown of the game.
On the play, he appear to hit his head hard on the turf when going in for the score. He would be lifted immediately after the play, and Kansas State played it conservatively with Sims for the rest of the game.
Although the broadcast didn't specifically give note to it, it was odd that Klein would leave with his team only up by 21 points. Fox's Curtis Fitzpatrick felt the same way.
ABC is messing up this Collin Klein story.He is obviously hurt.Snyder wouldn't call off the dogs up only 18 pts in the 3rd qtr.— Curtis Fitzpatrick (@cfitzfox) November 4, 2012
Coach Bill Snyder wouldn't talk any more about the injury at the conclusion of the game, rather focusing on what his team has to do to continue a march towards the national championship game.
Snyder's team won this game on the strength of its special teams and defense. The offense certainly took advantage of opportunities, but the Wildcats scored a touchdown both in the kicking game and off of an interception.
Capitalizing on turnovers has been a hallmark of this team all season. Kansas City Star reporter Blair Kerkhoff had a remarkable stat about the success of this Kansas State team so far.
Kansas State points off opponent turnovers this season:111, Opponents points off K-State turnovers 0.— Blair Kerkhoff (@BlairKerkhoff) November 4, 2012
Kansas State continues to impress voters across the country with a balanced offensive attack and one of college football's stingiest defenses. They also have the country's leading candidate for the Heisman.
If Klein is forced to miss any time after this injury, it could really put a damper on his Heisman chances. Additionally, Kansas State would be in major trouble with games against Baylor, Texas and TCU still on the schedule.
We'll know more about Klein over the course of the week, but for now, it's definitely something to be wary about.
The Wildcats will travel to Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU in Week 11. The Horned Frogs are coming off a win over one-time media darling West Virginia. Oklahoma State will prepare for a contest with those same Mountaineers, pitting former offense coordinator-turned head coach Dana Holgorsen against his old team.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R and a member of the site's Breaking News Team.