A competitive first half of the Sunflower Showdown turned into the Sunflower Beatdown, once again as #7 K-State dominated hapless KU, 56-16 in Manhattan.
It's the Wildcats (5-0) fourth straight win over KU in the annual instate rivalry game.
K-State blew the game wide open with 28 points from Klein and John Hubert, who scored on two touchdown runs of 32 and one yard. He scored his third of the half in the fourth quarter.He finished with four touchdowns on Saturday.
Klein left the game at the end of the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 116 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. He completed 7 of his 14 passes, throwing for 129 yards and two scores. Daniel Sams came for Klein.
On the other side, Dayne Crist's solid first half was picked apart by the Wildcat defense in the second. They picked him off twice, holding him to less than 200 yards in the air. James Sims had a solid day on the ground with one touchdown and 115 yards on 28 carries but had no help.
K-State rolls on next week to Ames, IA for a Big 12 game with Iowa State. KU retools for Oklahoma State in Lawrence at Memorial Stadium.
In a surprising turn of events, the Sunflower Showdown has turned into the Sunflower Shootout at halftime.
Led by Collin Klein, #7 K-State leads KU 21-14 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
After a 55-yard Nigel Malone interception, K-State had a chance to go up two scores but terrible clock management by Klein and coach Bill Snyder, and an incredible tackle from KU linebacker Ben Heeney kept the Wildcats from the endzone before halftime.
KU struck first, using a great drive orchestrated by Dayne Crist at quarterback, capped off by a 19-yard touchdown catch and run from Tony Pierson.
K-State answered quickly with a 20-yard touchdown run from John Hubert, tying things at 7-7 in Manhattan. The drive took just 2:47 off the clock.
Charlie Weis threw out all the stops on their next drive, executing a fake punt and fake field goal to keep the drive alive, before James Sims punched it in from the one-yard line to take a 14-7 lead. A quick drive from K-State tied the game at 14 on a beautiful 34-yard touchdown pass from Collin Klein to Tyler Lockett. K-State took their lead on a one-yard Klein run with nine minutes to play.
It would have been 21-17 but KU's Ron Dougherty missed a chip shot field goal, stalling another great KU drive in the second quarter.
For the last two years the Sunflower Showdown has been anything but. In order for something to be a showdown both sides have to show up. Kansas has been beaten three years in a row by Kansas State with the last two losses being the most lopsided: the Wildcats won 59-21 last year and beat the Jayhawks 59-7 the year before that.
This year looks to be no different than the last three as 7th ranked Kansas State gets home-field advantage over the struggling Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas State is undefeated this season and have been extremely solid on both sides of the ball. They've outrushed their first four opponents by 600 yards and have put together a stronger passing attack to balance things out.
Led by quarterback Collin Klein the Wildcats have a steady approach, wait for other teams to make mistakes and then, as KU head coach Charlie Weis put it, 'they pounce on you.' The Cats have forced 10 fumbles this season and have recovered 6 of them. They've also recorded 2 interceptions. The defense has racked up 9 sacks this season helping set up an efficient offense that has scored in the red zone 90 percent of the time this year.
The one thing that Kansas has over KState? Turnovers. Kansas leads the Big 12 in forced turnovers and rank 5th in the NCAA in the same category. The Jayhawks have recovered 7 fumbles and have picked off opposing quarterbacks 6 times. The problem comes when the Kansas offense takes the field.
KU quarterback Dayne Crist has passed for 763 yards this season but has only connected on two touchdowns. He's also been picked off 4 times and his completiong percentage is a paltry 48 percent.
The Jayhawk's rushing attack is where they've done most of their damage this season and with a healthy Taylor Cox back in the lineup, Charlie Weis' offense adds a distinct threat. However, Kansas State defends the run extremely well, allowing an average of fewer than 100 yards per game this year.
The backfield of Cox, James Sims and Tony Pierson has produced 6 touchdowns, 2 for each player, with Pierson leading the way with just over 300 rushing yards.
Saturday's game kicks off at 11 a.m. in Manhattan. Follow @BruceHaertl and @jennbates12 on Twitter for updates from the game.