Recap: West Virginia vs. Kansas State
Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) - Collin Klein outplayed early Heisman favorite Geno Smith, and No. 4 Kansas State steamrolled 17th-ranked West Virginia, 55-14, in a Big 12 blowout at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Klein accounted for seven touchdowns -- four rushing -- while passing for a career-high 323 yards and running for 41 more for Kansas State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12), which is undefeated through seven games for the second consecutive year.
Tyler Lockett caught nine passes for 194 yards and two TDs for the Wildcats, winners of four straight road contests against ranked opponents dating back to last season.
"I was pleased with the way our youngsters approached the ballgame and how they traveled and kept their focus. We played well. We made mistakes and need to get better, but collectively, I think we did a nice job," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said.
West Virginia (5-2, 2-2) suffered its second straight humbling defeat after a 5-0 start. The Mountaineers dropped 12 spots from No. 5 in the AP poll due to a 49-14 loss at Texas Tech last week and figure to fall further after getting outgained, 479-243, on their home field Saturday.
Smith came in with the highest quarterback rating in the nation, had totaled 26 touchdowns and did not throw an interception over the first six games. But the Wildcats kept the senior signal-caller out of the end zone for three-plus quarters, picked him off twice and held him to 143 yards passing on 21-of-32 attempts.
Smith connected with Tavon Austin for a 5-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, but by that time the outcome had already been decided.
"We lost to a really good football team tonight," West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We played a team that did everything right. ... We'll fix what the problems are, keeping plugging along and try to get better."
Klein completed all but two of his 21 throws and led the Wildcats to points on their first eight possessions.
Kansas State appeared to play at a faster pace right from the opening kickoff, which Tramaine Thompson returned 41 yards to set up Anthony Cantele's 33-yard field goal.
The next time the Wildcats touched the ball they held it for nearly 5 1/2 minutes, and on the ninth play, Klein hit Lockett for a 10-yard score to cap the 92-yard march.
Klein finished off three more lengthy drives in the second quarter with short touchdown runs, the last a 1-yard plunge just before the half to quiet the home crowd after Austin returned a kickoff 100 yards to put West Virginia on the board.
Things continued to spiral downward for the Mountaineers after halftime, as Smith's first pass was tipped by Randall Evans and intercepted by Arthur Brown at the WVU 24-yard line.
Klein found Chris Harper in triple coverage for a 21-yard TD a little later, and Smith was sacked on consecutive plays to give the ball right back to the Wildcats.
Another nice return by Thompson set up a short field, and Klein pounded his way into the end zone from a yard out for a 45-7 cushion just six minutes into the second half.
Ty Zimmerman picked off Smith in the red zone on the ensuing drive, and even with the huge lead, Kansas State kept throwing, as Klein went 4-for-4 for 76 yards on the next drive, including a 20-yard TD hookup with Lockett.
Cantele added a 42-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.Game Notes
The Wildcats beat No. 23 Texas late last season and topped No. 5 Oklahoma and
No. 25 Iowa State this year -- all on the road ... Kansas State lost its
eighth game last season and finished 10-3. The Wildcats host nationally-ranked
Texas Tech next week ... West Virginia came in averaging 45.7 points and 543.7
yards per game ... Smith had a 180.8 QB rating through the first six games ...
Austin finished with six catches for 34 yards, nearly 100 yards less than the
star receiver's season average coming in.