The 2012 season was a particular one for the Kansas State soccer group — the Wildcats gained 10 video games for the second season in a row, gained the Massive 12 championship for the second time at school historical past and at one level had been ranked as excessive as No. 2 within the nation.
A giant cause for his or her success was redshirt senior quarterback Collin Klein. Klein performed as a large receiver and particular groups participant in 2009, however returned to enjoying quarterback full-time and backed up Carson Coffman for a lot of the 2010 season. Klein crammed in for an injured Coffman in his first profession begin on Nov. 6 in opposition to Texas, and led the Wildcats to a 39-14 victory over the Longhorns. Whereas he solely threw 4 passes, he ran for 127 yards and scored twice within the victory.
In 2011, Coffman graduated, and Klein turned the beginning quarterback. Beneath his management, Okay-State started the season 7-0, their finest begin since 1999. He had a string of spectacular performances whereas on the street, main the Wildcats to victories over the Miami Hurricanes and the Baylor Bears the next week, led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. Klein additionally had stellar performances in opposition to Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, placing up large stats every sport.
The Wildcats gained 10 video games in 2011, marking the primary time this system gained double-digit video games in a season because the 2003 season.
Coming into 2012, many wrote off the Wildcats, even with Klein and star linebacker Arthur Brown returning. A number of shops anticipated Okay-State to complete removed from the highest of the Massive 12.
Nevertheless, most shops agreed that if Klein may enhance his passing sport, the Wildcats could possibly be contenders for the Massive 12 title, and Klein could possibly be a Heisman winner.
Early within the season, Klein confirmed appreciable enchancment by way of the air, combining to throw 609 passing yards in three victories. In Week 4, Okay-State traveled to tackle the No. 6 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, a spot the Wildcats had not gained at since 1997. Whereas Klein’s stats weren’t spectacular, he did full 13 of 21 passes for 149 yards within the upset. The Wildcats went on to win their subsequent two video games in opposition to in-state rival Kansas and Iowa State.
With a 6-0 file, the Wildcats entered Week 8 with a battle in Morgantown, West Virginia, in opposition to the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Led by one other Heisman hopeful, quarterback Geno Smith, the Mountaineers had been anticipated to be close to the highest of the Massive 12 in 2012. After beginning 5-0, West Virginia fell the prior weekend to Texas Tech, however nonetheless entered this sport as 2.5 level favorites in what was the primary matchup between the 2 groups since 1931.
On Okay-State’s opening possession, Klein drove the Wildcats 41 yards in seven performs earlier than the drive stalled, resulting in Anthony Cantele’s 33-yard subject aim. After a West Virginia punt, Klein led a 92-yard drive and completed it with a 10-yard landing go to sophomore receiver Tyler Lockett.
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On the subsequent possession, Klein discovered the endzone himself, speeding for a 1-yard landing and giving the Wildcats a 17-0 lead. He scored on the subsequent two possessions, once more on the bottom, giving Okay-State a 31-7 lead.
Within the second half, Klein scored three extra touchdowns, speeding for one and throwing two scores: one to Lockett and one to huge receiver Chris Harper. Klein completed the sport with 323 passing yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 41 yards and 4 touchdowns because the Wildcats defeated the Mountaineers, 55-14, enhancing to 7-0 on the season.
The group continued to 10-0 earlier than a heartbreaking loss on the street to an unranked Baylor group in November. Okay-State went on to defeat Texas for the Massive 12 title. The Wildcat’s dream season fell within the Fiesta Bowl, the place they misplaced to the Oregon Geese 35-17.
Klein went on to grow to be the primary Okay-State quarterback since Michael Bishop in 1998 to complete within the prime three within the Heisman Trophy voting. He completed third in votes behind Heisman winner Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and runner-up Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
Klein threw for two,490 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2012, each profession highs. He additionally contributed on the bottom, working for 890 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Klein entered the NFL Draft in 2013, however went undrafted earlier than getting a rookie tryout from the Houston Texans. He was lower after the tryout and went on to the CFL earlier than being lower in 2014.
Along with his enjoying profession behind him, Klein returned to his alma mater within the fall of 2014 to grow to be a coach the place he finally turned offensive coordinator in 2022.
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