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Klein, No. 4 K-State rout No. 17 WVU 55-14

By Ralph D. Russo

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 20 2012 10:10 p.m. MDT

With the Mountaineers seemingly determined to at least stop the run early, Klein completed his first seven passes, including a 10-yard touchdown that Lockett made a stretching, toe-dragging catch on in the back corner of the end zone. That made it 10-0 in the first.

The K-State running game went to work on the third drive and Klein finished it off with a 1-yard plunge.

Klein made it 24-0 on the next Kansas State drive, taking an option keeper 8 yards. That gave him 39 rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons to break an FBS record held by Eric Crouch of Nebraska and Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois.

Tavon Austin finally put a little life back into the sellout crowd when he took the ensuing kickoff back 100 yards for a score with 4:12 left in the first half.

The bad news for West Virginia was that it gave the Wildcats more than enough time to get the ball back in the end zone — which they did with another 1-yard dive by Klein.

The first-half onslaught went like this for Kansas State: five possessions, 346 yards, four touchdowns and a field goal. The offense was unstoppable and the defense was just as good, holding Smith to 62 yards by flooding the secondary with defenders and getting a pass rush without blitzing much.

"I thought our defense played well and played aggressive and pursued the ball," Snyder said. "We had a relentless pass rush and we got our hands on Geno Smith."

Maybe the pressure of having to score every time he touches the ball has gotten to Smith, too. That trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation, which seemed like a lock after the Mountaineers won at Texas, is now in serious doubt.

"This is about as low as it gets," Smith said.

As for Klein and the Wildcats, they will face tougher tests. The gap between the top and the bottom of the Big 12 doesn't seem all that wide. But they have now won three conference road games, including at Oklahoma. They came into the weekend fourth in the BCS standings, behind Alabama, Florida and Oregon.

With their 73-year-old coach pushing all the right buttons and their happily married quarterback making all the right plays, the Wildcats might be due for a promotion.

Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphdrussoAP

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