Oklahoma State struggled with the versatility of Kansas State quarterback Colin Klein all night, and had to survive a wild fourth quarter to top the Wildcats 52-45 and remain in the national championship hunt.
Trailing 37-31 with seven minutes on the clock and driving, KSU running back Josh Hubert was brought down for a loss on third and one to set up a long fourth down attempt. Klein called his own number on the next play and rushed for 13 yards and a first down.
Two plays later Klein punched it in from four yards out to take a 38-37 advantage with just 5:16 left on the clock.
However, Oklahoma State would answer quickly. On the second play of the next drive, Brandon Weeden found a wide-open Justin Blackmon for a 54-yard touchdown to take a 43-38 lead. Weeden tossed to Blackmon in the back of the end zone on the two point conversion to make it an even seven-point lead.
Former Booker T. Washington star Tyler Lockett returned the ensuing kick 80 yards to the Oklahoma State 20-yard line, putting the Wildcats in great position to respond. Two plays later, Klein kept the ball yet again and scored from 12 yards out to tie the game 45-45 with three minutes left on the clock.
The Cowboys went back to their bread-and-butter on the next drive and found success in the passing game. Weeden connected with Isaiah Anderson for a 33-yard pass to cut deep into Kansas State territory and hit Blackmon for a nine-yard completion to put OSU on the Wildcats' 23-yard line.
Joseph Randle took the handoff two plays later and scored from 23-yards out to give the Cowboys a 52-45 lead taking just a minute off of the clock.
The closing drive came down to Klein, who the Wildcats had leaned on throughout the game. Klein rushed three times for 27 yards and completed three passes for 36 yards to set up first and goal on the OSU five-yard line.
Markelle Martin and Brodrick Brown were responsible for breakups on back-to-back passes that would have been touchdowns otherwise to bring up third down. With one second left on the clock, Klein missed Tremaine Thompson to end the game and keep the Cowboys' season alive.
Weeden passed for 502 yards and four scores, missing on just 10 passes. But, two of those incompletions were interceptions, which lead to two Kansas State scores. Blackmon was on the receiving end of 13 passes for 205 yards and two scores, but fumbled twice, leading to two Wildcat scores as well.
Klein carried most of the load for the Wildcats in the loss, completing 22 of his 38 pass attempts for 231 yards and a score, while rushing 29 times for 144 yards and three scores. Lockett was a do-everything man for Kansas State as well, with six touches on offense for 116 yards and a score, in addition to six returns for nearly 200 yards.
Oklahoma State moves to 9-0 on the season for just the second time in school history, the first coming in 1945 under Jim Lookabaugh.
The Cowboys will now head to Lubbock, Texas for a matchup against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are coming off of back-to-back losses, needing one more win to become bowl eligible.