The differences were stark, even though Bill Snyder's not buying 'em.
Collin Klein had accounted for 29 touchdowns and just three turnovers before suffering a head injury against Oklahoma State and sitting out the entire second half.
Since returning against TCU, Klein has accounted for just four touchdowns and four turnovers in his past two games. The second was a 28-point road loss to Baylor in which Klein threw three interceptions and rushed for a season-low 39 yards.
"Maybe the numbers have not been as prolific as they have been, but Collin has really played well," Snyder said. "There’s a lot that goes into anybody’s performance level, and that’s reliant upon 10 other people as well. In whatever areas we have not been as efficient at are certainly the responsibility of all 11 guys, not just Collin."
In short, troubles along the offensive line and at receiver might also be the reason for Klein's recent decline in efficiency and production. Baylor coach Art Briles didn't see a difference in Klein when he saw him two weeks ago, compared to the Klein that ascended to the top of the Heisman heap before the loss to the Bears.
"No, no. He’s been a great player ever since he stepped on the field for them," Briles said. "There’s not anything different about him. He’s a competitor and a guy that’s made everything go for Kansas State and will continue."
It's not over until it's over, but Klein rebounding to beat out Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and claim Kansas State's first Heisman Trophy seems unlikely, considering Manziel's lead in the race. Still, Klein will get the last word on Saturday against Texas, and Longhorns coach Mack Brown hasn't changed his expectations of Klein, despite the slow finish for the Colorado native.
"You look at the biggest thing about him is he’s usually the same guy every week. Sure, he gets beaten down some at the end of the year, but the quarterback gets all the credit when you win, and he gets all the criticism when you lose," Brown said. "They had a tough game at Baylor, but I think you’ll still see him play as well as anybody in the country here in these last two games."
If that happens, it won't just be because of Klein rebounding. His receivers struggled with drops against Baylor and the offensive line was overwhelmed by a Baylor defense that had been underwhelming through its first nine games before upsetting Kansas State.
"I think if you’ve made a highlight reel of Collin over the past couple years or so, you have to realize that when he does well, certainly it’s his merit, but by the same token, he had 10 guys helping him. The bottom line is, you have positive numbers when everybody performs well, and you have negative numbers when somebody doesn’t perform well," Snyder said. "I think he’s played well. He did some, the Baylor game the numbers were bad, he had three interceptions, but you go back and look at how those happen, and those don’t rest fully on his shoulders. It’s a collective effort, and I don’t think he’s playing as poorly as you might suggest."