Cats Come Up Short in Cotton Bowl, 29-16

Andre McDonald caught a 3-yard TD pass in the second quarter.

Jan. 7, 2012

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein tied the Big 12 single-season for rushing touchdowns and the NCAA single season record by a quarterback but the No. 8 Wildcats came up short in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in a 29-16 loss to No. 6 Arkansas.

Kansas State (10-3) was trying to match its school record with 11 victories, but still finished a surprising season in Snyder's second Wildcats turnaround. K-State won 11 games six times during a seven-year span in Snyder's first tenure before his three-year retirement, and almost reached that mark again in his third season back.

After being held to 15 yards on 12 carries in the first half, Klein finished the opening drive of the third quarter with a 6-yard TD run that got the Wildcats to 19-16. That came after Klein had a 15-yard run on the previous play.

That matched the Big 12 record for rushing touchdowns held by 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams of Texas. The only other FBS quarterback with 27 rushing touchdowns in a season was Ricky Dobbs for Navy in 2009.

Klein finished with 42 yards on 24 carries, while completing 16 of 30 passes for 173 yards.

The Razorbacks played their second game at Cowboys Stadium this season, three months after they overcame an 18-point halftime deficit to beat Big 12 team and future SEC foe Texas A&M 42-38.

In the return trip, Arkansas led the Big 12 opponent at halftime and had mostly throttled Klein and the Kansas State offense. It was the first game for new Razorbacks defensive coordinator Paul Haynes, who was hired in December after Willy Robinson resigned.

Tyler Wilson, who threw for a school-record 510 yards in that Oct. 1 game at Cowboys Stadium, was 20 of 31 for 216 yards against Kansas State. Jarius Wright, who had 13 catches for a record 287 yards against the Aggies, and three catches for 88 yards and a 45-yard TD in the Cotton Bowl.

The Cotton Bowl was the only non-BCS game with both teams in the top 10 of the Bowl Championship Series standings -- Arkansas came in sixth, Kansas State eighth. It also is the only bowl featuring the SEC vs. the Big 12, the top two conferences in the BCS computer rankings.

The Razorbacks didn't even get a first down until 12 1/2 minutes left in the first half when Dennis Johnson opened a drive with a 28-yard run. That drive ended with the second of Zach Hocker's three field goals, a 22-yarder.

Arkansas led 19-0 when Wilson threw a 45-yard TD pass to Jarius Wright with 4 minutes left in the first half.

Kansas State, which has lost its last four bowl games since beating Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl, blocked the extra point and Nigel Malone returned it for two points.

It was 19-9 at halftime after Klein threw a 3-yard TD pass to Andrew McDonald with 26 seconds left in the first half. That score was set up after Wilson was sacked by Adam Davis and fumbled at the Razorbacks 13.

Wildcats defensive end Meshak Williams was injured at the end of the first half, when he made helmet-to-helmet contact with Emmanuel Lamur when both were trying to tackle Wilson, who put his head down to avoid the hit.

Williams remained down on the field for several minutes being tended to by medical personnel and then placed on a stretcher. He gave a thumbs-up signal when being placed on a cart, then when he was being driving off the field extended his right arm high and flashed a Wildcat sign.

Snyder said Williams was taken to a hospital for more testing, but that they think he will be OK. The coach didn't elaborate or give any specifics.

Arkansas led 3-0 after Jake Bequette sacked Klein and forced a fumble, setting up Hocker's 26-yard field goal.

Tenarius Wright, the Razorbacks' other defensive end, jumped over a pile to recover the loose ball at the Kansas State 13.

Klein's fumble came on a second-and-33 play after a sequence that started with his 20-yard run to inside Arkansas territory being wiped out by an illegal shift penalty. He was sacked on the next play before a holding call and a false start pushed the ball all the way back to the 20.

"We got off to an awfully bad start and really couldn't overcome the damage that we did," Snyder said. "And most of it was pretty obvious."