MANHATTAN, Kan. — Collin Klein threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores and No. 7 Kansas State beat No. 23 Texas 42-24 on Saturday night for its third conference title in 117 years and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
The Wildcats had never played for a conference championship in their last game at home, and had never had a player end the regular season in such close contention for the Heisman Trophy as Klein.
Neither of his main competitors, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel nor Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, played this weekend. So Klein, a multitalented senior, had the stage all to himself, one last chance to burnish his credentials for what would be Kansas State’s first Heisman.
In front of their sixth sellout in seven home games, the Wildcats (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) tied their team record for victories in a season and matched Oklahoma’s Big 12 record.
Kansas State has beaten Texas (8-4, 5-4) five in a row.
The Sooners beat TCU earlier Saturday and immediately donned caps and T-shirts declaring themselves Big 12 champs. But Kansas State’s 24-19 win at Oklahoma on Sept. 22 gives them the tiebreaker and sends them into the Fiesta Bowl.
After a slow start, Klein wound up hitting 8 of 14 passes for 184 yards and added 108 yards rushing on 23 carries. John Hubert scored three touchdowns.
Texas, which may be headed for the Cotton Bowl, led 10-7 at halftime. But with Klein hitting a 29-yard pass and Hubert breaking free for 28 yards, Kansas State soared 75 yards in seven plays, with Hubert scoring from the 2.
Hubert also had a 2-yard TD run with 47 seconds left in the third quarter and scored on a 1-yard run for a 35-17 lead with a little more than 3 minutes to go after Drew Liddle recovered Texas’ muffed punt.
A few minutes later, Allen Chapman intercepted Case McCoy’s pass and ran it back 35 yards, setting up Klein’s 9-yard TD run for a 42-17 lead with 1:53 left.