Heisman Watch: Kansas State QB Colin Klein ups his stock as Wildcats move up in BCS

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Collin Klein's seven-touchdown day in Kansas State's 55-14 drubbing of West Virginia has boosted his Heisman chances and moved the Wildcats up to No. 3 in the newest BCS standings.

The in-season honors poured in Monday for the Kansas State quarterback.

Klein named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. The Big 12 also honored Klein with the Offensive Player of the Week award. The Big 12 gave even more love to K-State by naming Arthur Brown of Wichita, Kan., the Defensive Player of the Week.

It's the first time Klein has been named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. It's the third time this season that honor went to a Big 12 player. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith won the award the other two times.

Klein won the Big 12 Player of the Week honor for the second time this season and third time in his career. With Brown's Big 12 award, the Wildcats now have a Big 12-leading 14 Player of the Week awards since the start of 2011. That's double the amount of the team in second place.

Brown won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week award after picking up eight tackles and an interception, which ended Smith's streak of consecutive passes without an interception at a NCAA record 273.

In a game featuring Heisman Award quarterback candidates, Klein out-dueled West Virginia's Smith this past Saturday night. The K-State senior from Loveland, Colo., finished with seven touchdowns in K-State's 55-14 victory at then-No. 13 West Virginia. Klein completed 19-21 passes for a career-high 323 yards and career-best three touchdowns. Klein also ran for four touchdowns.

The K-State star set the NCAA FBS record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in two straight seasons with 41. His career total of 47 rushing touchdowns beat Darren Sproles' previous school record of 45.

Klein's performance against West Virginia has boosted his Heisman chances. His running ability was a known commodity entering this season, but the K-State quarterback showed once again on Saturday that he also has evolved into one of the top passers in the country.

The unheralded senior was 77th in the country last season with a passing efficiency rating of 125.6. He completed 57.3 percent of his passes and threw just 13 touchdowns along with six interceptions.

Following Saturday's performance, he's now second in the country behind Alabama's A.J. McCarron with a passing efficiency rating of 175.8. He's thrown 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season while completing 70.5 percent of his passes.

Klein had plenty of help against West Virginia. That included a 194-yard receiving effort from sophomore Tyler Lockett, whose performance was the best in the country last week.

The spotlight, however, was squarely on Klein's shoulders -- and his right arm.

Klein's emergence as a legitimate passing threat this season hasn't come at the expense of his running game.

In fact, it's done nothing but enhance his ground game.

Klein had four rushing touchdowns Saturday, bringing his season total to 14. He's now rushed for 551 yards on 110 carries this season for an average of five yards per carry. That's an improvement from the 3.6 yards per carry he averaged last season -- when he finished with 1,141 yards on the ground.

Klein is the seventh-highest rushing quarterback this season with an average of 78.7 yards per game on the ground. He's 63rd overall in rushing.

For K-State fans looking down the road, the BCS National Championship is January 7 in Miami at 7:30 p.m. The Fiesta Bowl features the first-place Big 12 team against a BCS At-Large team. That game will take place on January 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Phoenix. 

If the top team in the Big 12 is also No. 1 or No. 2 in the country, then that team would play in the BCS National Championship game. The next best Big 12 team would head to the Fiesta Bowl.

The Associated Press' RALPH D. RUSSO and KURT VOIGT contributed to this report

Print this article Back to Top

Comments