"Johnny Football" set the stage in Tuscaloosa and "Collin Football" capitalized with another award-winning performance at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Johnny Manziel more than lived up to his nickname as Texas A&M upset top-ranked Alabama. In less flashy fashion, Collin Klein positioned himself for the Heisman and more importantly Kansas State for their first national championship game.
The Wildcats dominated TCU, 23-10, in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicated. Klein overcame last week's concussion and three Horned Frogs sacks (coming into the game, he had been sacked only twice all season) to likely move Kansas State to No. 1 for the first time since 1998.
Just minutes after the Crimson Tide lost, Klein tossed a 62-yard completion into a swirling Fort Worth wind. A few plays later, Klein busted up the gut of the Frogs defense for a seven-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 Kansas State lead.
Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin missed a couple of series in the first half after hurting his throwing shoulder on a 15-yard scramble. The Wildcats added a couple of field goals and led, 13-0, at the half.
TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte told me at halftime that Boykin would be fine and he was pleased with the Frogs defense against the high-powered Wildcats offense.
Indeed, Stansly Maponga registered an emphatic sack early in the third quarter as Frogs fans sensed another TCU comeback. However, Klein was typically unfazed and dashed those upset hopes quickly. Later in the same drive, Klein capped a scintillating 34-yard TD jaunt by diving into the corner of the Frogs end zone.
Kansas State added a field goal to go up, 23-0, and cruised from there. There seemed to be a lack of urgency from the Frogs in the fourth quarter as they rarely went no-huddle and sometimes dismissed the spread offense. However, coach Gary Patterson's priority at that point was trying to avoid getting his quarterback killed. Boykin was sacked five times in the game.
TCU did manage a touchdown in the final minute as Boykin connected with sophomore Brandon Carter for a 19-yard score.
Klein finished with 195 total yards and two touchdowns. Very pedestrian numbers by his standards, but likely enough to climb Kansas St. to the top of the BCS standings.
Of course, Klein will never really be known as "Collin Football". It doesn't sound right anyway. And it's doubtful he cares much about the Heisman Trophy talk as well. But Kansas State's senior QB likes the sound of "National Champion" and that could very well be his legacy.
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