Kansas State had one mission in its final game of the 2012 regular season: Beat Texas and represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl. The Wildcats won 42-24.
But head coach Bill Snyder presumably had a secondary mission and that was to elevate quarterback Collin Klein's status in the Heisman race after his poor performance against Baylor on November 17.
Optimus Klein came back to his old form and sacrificed his body to give his team a BCS Fiesta Bowl berth, and in the process made a huge Heisman statement: I'm baaaaack.
Klein went 8-of-14 for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 103 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns.
For a while it looked like Kansas State's defense was going to outshine Klein in the first half, but Snyder made some great adjustments in the second half and Klein took over as the field general.
Midway through the third quarter down 17-14, Klein rushed for 38 yards in the Wildcats' 67-yard drive that resulted in the go-ahead touchdown by John Hubert, giving the Wildcats a 21-17 lead. Klein rushed in seven of that possession's 11 plays and reestablished himself as a Heisman front-runner.
But just in case the nation wasn't convinced of Klein's abilities, he made the definitive statement on the Wildcats' next possession early in the fourth quarter. On his own 45-yard line, Klein threw a 55-yard strike to Tyler Lockett for a touchdown, the second of four unanswered touchdowns.
While Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o were at home, Klein had Championship Saturday all to himself. The spotlight was all his.
Klein grabbed it, embraced it and made us all smile.
And he made us rethink which player is the most outstanding player in college football.
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