The Wildcats' David Allen returned a punt for a record-tying touchdown and also ran for a score as No. 13 Kansas State capitalized on six turnovers by the Longhorns quarterback for a 35-17 victory over No. 15 Texas on Saturday.
Texas players had looked to this game as payback for a 48-7 beating last year in Applewhite's first collegiate start.
But Applewhite, the Big 12's leading passer, was hounded into three interceptions and three fumbles that the Wildcats (4-0 overall, 2-0 Big 12) converted into 26 points.
"When there is a lot of pressure against you, your performance suffers," said Applewhite, who was dogged by blitzing Kansas State linebackers all afternoon.
The Wildcats turned two interceptions and a fumble by Applewhite into three first-half field goals by K-State kicker Jamie Rheem. Rheem set a school record with five field goals from 22, 23, 32, 27, and 20 yards.
"We had to rattle him (Applewhite) a little bit," K-State linebacker Mark Simoneau said. "But he's a great quarterback and he's going to come back next week and play well."
Texas (4-2, 1-1) got a 14-yard touchdown pass from Applewhite to tight end Chris Smith and a one-yard scoring run by Chris Robertson. The Longhorns led 14-9 in the third quarter before Allen's 74-yard punt return put K-State up for good 15-14.
Allen, who scored on a punt return against Texas last year, took the ball in the middle of the field, avoided one tackle and picked up two key blocks to race to the end zone untouched.
"We had one punt get away and the sucker returned it for a touchdown," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We were trying to kick every ball out of bounds or to the sideline but we missed that one."
The score gave Allen seven TD returns for his career, tying the NCAA Dvision I-A record set by Oklahoma's Jack Mitchell (1946-48) and matched by Nebraska's Johnny Rodgers (1970-72).
"They said they would kick to me," Allen said. "I wanted an opportunity to take one to the house. I was licking my chops."
Leading 18-17 in the fourth, Kansas State poured it on Applewhite and the Longhorns.
Simoneau returned Kansas State's third interception 37 yards for a touchdown and a 25-17 lead with 8:31 left.
Simoneau forced Applewhite to fumble at the Texas 35 on the second play of the Longhorns' next possession. Allen broke three tackles, including one at the Texas 2, during a 35-yard TD run.
Leading 32-17, Kansas State sacked Applewhite again, forcing another fumble at the Texas 6 that Rheem converted into his last field goal.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said the Wildcats intended sending a wave of blitzs at Applewhite.
"It was a matter of saying `What do you have to do to keep this guy from picking you to pieces.' We had to put some pressure on him," Snyder said.
Applewhite finished 19-of-37 for 271 yards and one touchdown. He had thrown an NCAA-leading 138 consecutive passes without an interception before throwing one on the fourth play from scrimmage.
Kansas State quarterback Jonathan Beasley, benched in a 35-28 victory over Iowa State a week earlier, came in for starter Adam Helm with the Wildcats' offense sputtering in the second quarter.
Beasley passed for 171 yards and ran for 18.
Texas, which held Kansas State to 55 yards in the first half, couldn't overcome Applewhite's turnovers. Of Kansas State's four scoring drives, three began in Texas territory.
"I don't think there was anyone on our defense who didn't play extremely well," Snyder said. "That's a good offense."
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