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September 29, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas ? Kansas State did it to Texas again, this time with spectacular special teams.
Two kick returns for touchdowns and an interception return for another score propelled the Wildcats to a 41-21 win Saturday over the No. 7 Longhorns, handing Texas its worst home defeat in 10 years under coach Mack Brown.
Jordy Nelson's 89-yard punt return in the third put the Wildcats up 34-21 and all but sealed their second consecutive victory over Texas.
Kansas State (3-1, 1-0) scored on its opening drive, then didn't need another offensive touchdown until the fourth quarter. The Wildcats put up the most points scored against Texas (4-1, 0-1) in Austin since 1997, the Longhorns' infamous "Rout 66" loss to UCLA, 66-3.
That blowout came under former coach John Mackovic. Until Saturday, Brown's worst home loss was a 35-17 defeat by Kansas State in 1999. It was also Texas' first loss in a Big 12 opener since 1998, which also came against the Wildcats.
Defensively, K-State harassed Texas' Colt McCoy into his worst game with a fierce pass rush and four interceptions. McCoy was 19-of-39 for 200 yards and a touchdown.
Kansas State beat Texas 45-42 last season and knocked McCoy out of the game with a neck injury on the first drive. The Wildcats punished him again with blitzes that leveled the Longhorns quarterback several times.
On Campbell's interception return in the second quarter, the linebacker stunted on the pass rush, then stuck up his left hand to snag the throw at the line of scrimmage. McCoy was blocked out of the play and Campbell coasted into the end zone with a load of Wildcats escorting him to the goal line.
The Wildcats nearly knocked McCoy out of the game again. He threw another interception on his last play of the half and was slammed to the turf. His legs were wobbly when he got up and he had to be escorted to the locker room by trainers.
McCoy returned to start the third and looked sharp when he led Texas to a touchdown that cut the Kansas State lead to 24-21. But another interception set up a K-State field goal. McCoy now has nine interceptions after throwing 11 all of last season.
Nelson's punt return stunned Texas just when it thought it could mount a comeback.
Nelson scored K-State's first touchdown, and his second was a dagger. He fielded the punt at the 11, then moved to his right before cutting up field. Only one Longhorn managed to even get a hand on him before he was in the clear. He still had 15 yards to the end zone when he started pumping his fist to celebrate.
By the end of the third quarter, a large contingent of K-State fans were chanting "Let's go Wildcats!" It wasn't long before Texas fans started raining boos as McCoy and the Texas offense kept misfiring.