Defense lifts Kansas State again in win
Published on -11/5/2012, 10:23 AM
By ARNE GREEN
Special to The Hays Daily News
MANHATTAN -- As angst-ridden Kansas State fans await word on quarterback Collin Klein's injury status, they can take comfort in the fact the Wildcats keep finding ways to get things done.
Minus their star quarterback for the better part of the second half, the 'Cats showed again Saturday night in their 44-30 victory against Oklahoma State there's more than one way to skin a dangerous opponent.
Though Klein was solid again, throwing for 245 yards, rushing for 64 and staking K-State to a 21-point lead with a quarterback sneak early in the third quarter, it was another Wildcat mainstay that ultimately saved the day. When it was all said and done, OSU had turned the ball over five times -- three on Allen Chapman interceptions -- and K-State's side of the ledger remained clean.
"The turnovers were major in the ballgame, quite obviously," K-State coach Bill Snyder said of the takeaways, which moved the Wildcats into first place nationally in turnover margin at plus-20. "They came at such appropriate times, because that's a very good offensive football team.
"They moved the ball well. The turnovers really occurred at very dramatic times."
It was Chapman's first interception that provided the Wildcats with some needed breathing room as he stepped in front of receiver Blake Jackson and picked off quarterback Wes Lunt at the Oklahoma State 29-yard line. He took it in stride and headed down the sideline untouched to put K-State up 31-17 with 2:35 left in the half.
Chapman then helped protect that lead at the 56-second with the Cowboys driving in K-State territory, hauling in a Lunt offering at his 23-yard line.
The final interception, in the end zone after Oklahoma State had moved to the Wildcat 8-yard line, all but sealed the victory with 2:06 left in the game.
"Chapman did a great job and I'm proud of him," middle linebacker Arthur Brown said. "He definitely had a great game and that helped us to achieve what we did tonight."
What the Wildcats achieved with the turnovers was to turn three of them into touchdowns while the other two stopped Oklahoma State in its tracks.
The first Cowboy miscue, after K-State had scored 10 straight points for a 10-7 advantage in the second quarter, came when freshman defensive tackle Travis Britz dislodged the ball from Big 12 rushing leader Joseph Randle and Ty Zimmerman recovered at the OSU 29-yard line.
"I was just doing my job, and luckily he went in my gap and I just tried to make a tackle," Britz said.
Five plays later the Wildcats had a double-digit lead on John Hubert's 5-yard touchdown run.
An OSU mistake also got K-State off on the right foot in the second half just one play after Lunt hit Blake Webb on a 27-yard pass play to the Wildcat 28. Lunt again looked downfield, this time for Jackson, only Nigel Malone picked it off at his own 7.
"I've got to give it to our D-line," linebacker Jarell Childs, who tied defensive end Adam Davis with a team-high eight tackles, said of the turnovers. "Our coaches told us all week that if we get pressure on the quarterback, he'll throw bad passes and we've just got to take advantage of it.
"Our DBs made great breaks on the ball and our line got great pressure on the quarterback."
Not only did Malone's interception stall a Cowboy drive, but also triggered a 93-yard K-State touchdown march that took eight plays and nearly four minutes off the clock. The Wildcats went up 38-17 on Klein's quarterback sneak with 9:37 left in the half.
The touchdown proved to be Klein's last play. Trainers were examining his wrist and took his helmet away, an indication that he may have suffered a head injury.
Snyder said the injury occurred on a pass, though Klein carried the ball three consecutive times before leaving the game.
Daniel Sams came on for the next possession, protecting an 18-point lead. He completed 5 of 6 passes for 45 yards, rushed seven times for 20 and also got help from running back Angelo Pease, who took several direct snaps in the wildcat formation.
"Obviously we've got to be able to play through adversity, so we're going to have to step up and we're going to have to play whether it's Daniel or Collin back there and quarterback," center B.J. Finney said. "We don't know which right now."
With his 16-for-22 performance, Klein moved into first place nationally in passing efficiency.
Chapman wins Camp honor
K-State cornerback Allen Chapman was named Walter Camp national defensive player of the week for his performance in the Wildcats' 34-20 victory against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Chapman, a senior from San Francisco, intercepted three passes, including one for a touchdown as the Wildcats remained unbeaten at 9-0..
Chapman also had five tackles and deflected two other passes. It was the second interception touchdown of his career with the other also coming against Oklahoma State -- a 60-yarder last year.
'Cats, TCU on Fox
The Big 12 announced Sunday that K-State's game this Saturday at Texas Christian will be televised nationally by Fox with a 6 p.m. kickoff at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
The league also announced Kansas' game at Texas Tech will kick off at 11 a.m. and air live on Fox Sports Net.