Boulder, Colo. For all of Kansas State's offensive might, two key interceptions by safety Jon McGraw loomed just as large on Saturday.
Jonathan Beasley threw three first-half touchdown passes as the No. 5 Wildcats opened their Big 12 campaign by overwhelming Colorado 44-21, but the defense was the "difference."
McGraw thwarted a Colorado scoring drive with a diving interception late in the first half, enabling the Wildcats to hold on to a 14-point lead. Then, late in the third quarter, he returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown, putting Kansas State ahead 41-13.
"If they score a touchdown on that series," KSU coach Bill Snyder said of McGraw's first interception, "who knows where we are in the ballgame?"
Snyder said McGraw's second theft "made a big difference considering the way they've come back on us the last two years."
McGraw said his first pick "got us going."
On the second, he tipped and intercepted a pass thrown by wide receiver Cedric Cormier in the left flat.
"I kind of smelled it out," McGraw said. "I had a pretty good idea I'd go all the way, but I was pretty tired at the end."
Josh Scobey ran for two touchdowns for the Wildcats (5-0), who scored three straight TDs after Colorado (0-4) had reduced the deficit to seven midway through in the second quarter.
After going 0-11-1 against Colorado from 1985-96, Kansas State has won four straight meetings. It also marked the first time in series history that KSU has won two straight games in Boulder.
The 44 points were the most Kansas State has scored in the 56-game series, eclipsing the 38 points it scored in beating Colorado 38-6 in 1984. And, it was the Wildcats' 30th straight victory in the month of September, a streak that dates to 1991.
Colorado got a glimpse of its future when highly recruited freshman quarterback Craig Ochs made his first collegiate appearance. Ochs, who did not want to redshirt, replaced Bobby Pesavento early in the second quarter and played the remainder of the game.
Ochs promptly led Colorado to a touchdown on his first series, scoring on a 17-yard scramble.
No. 13 Texas 42, Oklahoma State 7
Austin, Texas Roy Williams caught a 96-yard touchdown pass and Kenny Hayter rushed for 122 yards against the nation's toughest run defense.
Major Applewhite passed for 291 yards and three touchdowns to lead Texas (3-1). The Longhorns overcame a sluggish first half that included a blocked punt to produce its best offensive game of the season.
Reggie White led Oklahoma State (2-2) with 104 yards rushing, most of them coming on a 69-yard run in the first quarter.
Williams' touchdown catch broke open a 10-7 game in the third quarter. On third-and-14, Williams broke behind the secondary and Applewhite, who had been sacked one play earlier, laid out a soft pass for him to run under down the right sideline.
No. 1 Nebraska 42, Missouri 24
Lincoln, Neb. Eric Crouch ran for 110 yards and a touchdown and threw two TD passes. Bobby Newcombe set a school record with a 94-yard punt return for a score for the Huskers (4-0), who won despite their worst defensive performance of the season. The Huskers allowed a season-high 492 yards to the Tigers (1-3).
Texas A&M; 33, Texas Tech 15
College Station, Texas Ja'Mar Toombs scored two touchdowns in the final 6:58 and Texas A&M; had three interceptions and a blocked punt that led to 20 points. The Red Raiders (4-1) came into the game against the Aggies (3-1) ranked No. 11 nationally in passing.
Iowa St. 31, Baylor 17
Waco, Texas Ennis Haywood ran for 241 yards and two touchdowns as Iowa State improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1980. Haywood, who has topped 100 yards in all four victories, had 101 yards and both of his touchdowns by halftime. Baylor dropped to 2-2.