MANHATTAN (AP) — Arthur Brown never saw Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The Kansas State linebacker just knew where he needed to be, sliding to his left after the snap, and was in the right position at the right time.
By the time Griffin’s pass cleared the line of scrimmage, Brown was the only one with a chance to catch it. His interception in the closing minutes set up Anthony Cantele’s 31-yard field goal with 3:10 left, and the Wildcats held on to beat No. 15 Baylor 36-35 on Saturday.
“It felt like a God-given catch, you know?” Brown said quietly, long after the game. “I just happened to catch the ball. Finally catch the ball.”
Brown bobbled it once, twice — three times, according to his coaches — before he finally pulled it down. There was still time left for Baylor’s prolific offense, but Brown again came through, sacking Griffin and helping preserve the Wildcats’ victory.
“He’s getting out of character a little bit,” said wide receiver Chris Harper, who was enveloped in a bear hug by Brown as the clock wound down. “He’s showing emotion.”
It was the first interception thrown by Griffin all season, and spoiled another virtuoso performance by the Heisman Trophy candidate. He came into the game having thrown more touchdown passes than incompletions, and it remained that way until late in the fourth quarter.
Griffin finished 23 of 31 for 346 yards and five touchdowns — and one big interception.
“I take sole responsibility for that,” he said. “I’m the leader of this team. I’m the guy that’s in the Heisman race, so I’ve got to help us win that game, and we didn’t win it. So you can look at a billion different things, but if you’re going to point the finger, point it at me, because I’ll take the praise and I’ll take the blame as well.”
There was certainly plenty of praise for Griffin.
He directed five impressive scoring drives, the longest taking just 2 minutes, 36 seconds, and one of them covering 75 yards in two plays and a whole 20 seconds.
Most of his offense was directed at Wright, who caught nine passes for a school-record 201 yards and three touchdowns.
“We didn’t get beat — we lost the game,” Wright said. “There’s a difference between getting beat and losing, and we lost the game.”
There’s no difference in the outcome, though.
Baylor missed out on a chance to start 4-0 for the first time since 1991, while Kansas State could nudge into the Top 25 before a showdown with Missouri next weekend.
“Keep rowing the boat,” coach Bill Snyder said simply.
Collin Klein threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns and added 113 yards and another score for the Wildcats (4-0). John Hubert added 57 yards rushing.
“I just want to tell the world that we’re better than people think we are,” Hubert said.
The Wildcats are making a habit of comeback victories.
They needed a touchdown pass from Klein in the closing minutes to beat Eastern Kentucky in their season opener. Then last week, the defense stopped Miami four times from the 2 yard line on the road to preserve a 28-24 victory.
Baylor looked as if it wasn’t going to give Kansas State a chance in this one, using one of the nation’s highest-scoring offenses to answer everything the Wildcats could muster.
Kansas State pulled ahead early in the third quarter, thanks to Klein’s 63-yard run and Angelo Pease’s 12-yard touchdown scamper, but Griffin struck right back. He connect with Wright on fourth-and-5, with Wright laying out in the end zone to make a diving over-the-shoulder grab as he slid out of bounds for a 34-yard touchdown.
Officials upheld the play after a video review and Baylor led 28-26.
The Wildcats put together another promising drive, but Klein was picked off by Baylor safety Sam Holl at the Bears’ 33. Griffin immediately hit Wright for 23 yards, and seven plays later, the pair connected again for a dazzling 35-yard touchdown reception. It capped an eight-play, 79-yard drive that took just 2:36 off the clock and pushed Baylor ahead 35-26.
Too much time was left, as it turned out.
Behind another gutsy performance by Klein, the Wildcats marched downfield on a 13-play, 70-yard drive that Klein capped with a touchdown plunge to get within 35-33.
Then Brown stepped in front of Griffin’s pass, Cantele came through after missing a field goal earlier in the game, and the Wildcats rushed onto the field to celebrate following four straight plays without a first down by the Baylor offense.
“That was a big stand,” Brown said. “It was a great opportunity against a team.”
BIG 12 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL
KANSAS ST. 36, No. 15 BAYLOR 35
Baylor 7 14 14 0 — 35
Kansas St. 13 6 7 10 — 36
Bay — Monk 5 pass from R.Griffin (A.Jones kick), 13:12.
KSt — Hubert 15 pass from C.Klein (A.Cantele kick), 5:47.
KSt — FG A.Cantele 28, 3:05.
KSt — FG A.Cantele 37, :28.
Bay — Wright 43 pass from R.Griffin (A.Jones kick), 13:40.
Bay — T.Reese 42 pass from R.Griffin (A.Jones kick), 3:23.
KSt — Harper 24 pass from C.Klein (pass failed), 1:37.
KSt — Pease 12 run (A.Cantele kick), 13:37.
Bay — Wright 34 pass from R.Griffin (A.Jones kick), 12:29.
Bay — Wright 35 pass from R.Griffin (A.Jones kick), 3:08.
KSt — C.Klein 1 run (A.Cantele kick), 5:43.
KSt — FG A.Cantele 31, 3:10.
A — 49,399.
First downs 21 24
Rushes-yards 30-83 51-210
Passing 346 146
Comp-Att-Int 23-32-1 13-28-1
Return Yards 20 10
Punts-Avg. 2-27.0 3-44.0
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-Yards 8-103 4-35
Time of Possession 21:13 38:47
RUSHING — Baylor, Ganaway 13-38, Wright 1-19, Salubi 3-14, Martin 1-6, R.Griffin 12-6. Kansas St., C.Klein 25-113, Hubert 16-57, Pease 5-33, Harper 1-8, Lockett 1-4, Team 3-(minus 5).
PASSING — Baylor, R.Griffin 23-31-1-346, Wright 0-1-0-0. Kansas St., C.Klein 13-28-1-146.
RECEIVING — Baylor, Wright 9-201, T.Reese 5-86, Najvar 3-21, Sampson 2-18, Monk 2-10, T.Williams 1-9, Martin 1-1. Kansas St., Harper 6-67, Hubert 3-47, McDonald 2-27, Lockett 1-5, S.Smith 1-0.