K-State Rallies for 36-35 win over No. 15 Baylor

Collin Klein combined for 259 yards and three touchdowns against Baylor.

Oct. 1, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP)—Robert Griffin III threw his first interception of the year at exactly the wrong moment.

Arthur Brown picked off Baylor’s star quarterback in the closing minutes Saturday, setting up a 31-yard field goal by Anthony Cantele that sent unbeaten Kansas State to a 36-35 upset over the No. 15 Bears.

Collin Klein threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns and added 113 yards and another score for the Wildcats (4-0), who won their third straight Big 12 opener — this one in dramatic fashion.

Kansas State trailed 35-26 midway through the fourth quarter when Klein engineered a 13-play, 70-yard drive that he capped with a short touchdown plunge.

Still, Baylor (3-1) took over needing only a couple first downs to wrap up its first 4-0 start since 1991. Instead, Griffin missed Brown sliding over across the middle and Kansas State’s defensive captain hauled in the throw after a slight, heart-stopping bobble.

It was the first interception thrown by Griffin all season.

Cantele, who missed earlier in the game from 42 yards, hit the go-ahead field goal with 3:10 left to set off a raucous celebration at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

The Bears still had time, especially given their quick-strike ability. But Brown sacked Griffin on first down moments later, and after two plays covered just 11 yards, Griffin’s fourth-down pass intended for Kendall Wright fell incomplete.

The ending spoiled another virtuoso performance for Griffin, who has emerged as an early Heisman Trophy contender. He came into the game having thrown more touchdown passes than incompletions, and it remained that way until late in the fourth quarter.

Griffin finished 23 of 31 for 346 yards and five touchdowns—and one big interception.

Most of Griffin’s offense was directed at Wright, who caught nine passes for a school-record 201 yards and three TDs. Gerald McNeil had held the previous record since 1981.

None of the Bears’ five scoring drives took more than 2 minutes, 36 seconds, even though all of them covered at least 48 yards. That included a two-play, 75-yard drive that took all of 20 seconds late in the first half that gave them a 21-19 lead at the break.

Kansas State pulled ahead early in the third quarter, thanks to Klein’s 63-yard run and Angelo Pease’s 12-yard touchdown scamper, but the Bears quickly found an answer.

Griffin connected with Wright on fourth-and-5 on the Bears’ ensuing possession, with Wright laying out in the end zone to make a diving over-the-shoulder grab as he slid out of bounds for a 34-yard touchdown catch. Officials upheld the play and Baylor led 28-26.

The Wildcats put together another promising drive, but Klein was picked off by Baylor safety Sam Holl at the Bears’ 33. Griffin immediately hit Wright for 23 yards, and seven plays later, the pair connected again for a dazzling 35-yard touchdown reception. It capped an eight-play, 79-yard drive that took just 2:36 off the clock and pushed Baylor ahead 35-26.

Too much time was left, as it turned out.

Behind another gutsy performance by Klein, the Wildcats marched downfield for a touchdown to get within 35-33, and the defense—which stopped Miami four times at the goal line in a 28-24 win a week ago—once again made the biggest plays of the game when they mattered most.