COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Colorado Spoils All of Kansas State’s Fun : Big Eight: Wildcats had Cotton in their ears but weren’t making any noise after 27-17 loss.
It was proclaimed the biggest game in Kansas State’s 100-year football history. And Colorado was not intimidated.
Scoring twice in the final 1:04, including John Hessler’s 20-yard touchdown strike to James Kidd, No. 9 Colorado beat No. 7 Kansas State, 27-17, Saturday and probably earned a Cotton Bowl bid.
Colorado improved to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big Eight.
Kansas State, (9-2, 5-2) was after its first 10-victory season in 85 years and its first-ever New Year’s Bowl berth.
Fans all week had proclaimed it their biggest game of all time, and with the nation’s top-ranked defense giving up only 223 yards a game, the Wildcats were favored.
“It was also a big game for us,” said Colorado safety Steve Rosga, whose interception thwarted a scoring threat in the third quarter. “In the past, we kind of watched Oklahoma-Nebraska, and whoever won decided where we would go. But this year we had it in our own hands.”
Colorado Coach Rick Neuheisel said he had not been promised the Cotton Bowl if his team won.
“But it’s my understanding the Cotton Bowl had decided the winner would be invited,” he said. “I would say the chances are probably pretty good. We’ve got our fingers crossed.”
Hessler, who threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns, moved the Buffaloes 80 yards after Eric Hickson’s one-yard plunge put Kansas State on top, 17-13, with 2:24 left, throwing a 20-yard pass to Kidd for go-ahead score with 1:04 left.
Colorado got another touchdown with 45 seconds left when Kerry Hicks recovered a Kansas State fumble in the end zone.
“They were trying [to play man-to-man defense] and I couldn’t figure out why they were just letting us run down the field,” Hessler said. “They went man on us and James ran right past them.”
It was only the fourth loss for Kansas State in 37 home games in the 1990s.