MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Kansas State didn't need any late-game heroics this time.
David Garrett returned an interception 45 yards for a first-quarter touchdown, Collin Klein dazzled with his legs and the Wildcats beat penalty-prone Kent State 37-0 on Saturday night for their first shutout in more than five years.
Kansas State, which needed a touchdown pass by Klein in the closing minutes two weeks ago to beat Eastern Kentucky, had no such trouble with the Golden Flashes. The Wildcats scored on five of six first-half drives to build a 34-0 lead, and then coasted through an uneventful second half.
They'll carry some momentum into a high-profile showdown at Miami next weekend.
Klein finished with 139 yards rushing and 74 yards passing, nearly becoming the first Kansas State quarterback since Allen Webb in 2004 to eclipse 100 yards in each category. He had a hand in all three touchdowns scored by the offense, two on the ground and one through the air.
Kansas State (2-0) didn't give him much help - John Hubert and Robert Rose each had 29 yards rushing - but the defense more than made up for the paltry offense. The Wildcats held the second-worst offense in the Football Bowl Subdivision to 12 first downs and 199 yards.
Trayion Durham had 72 yards rushing for Kent State (0-3), while Spencer Keith was 11 of 23 for 81 yards with a pair of interceptions.
The Golden Flashes didn't do much to help themselves, committing 11 penalties for 136 yards. That included eight personal fouls, one of which spoiled a first-and-goal situation at the Kansas State 3 in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats managed to keep the Golden Flashes out of the end zone to secure their first shutout since beating Florida Atlantic 45-0 on Sept. 9, 2006.
Garrett's interception set the tone for the game.
The senior cornerback waited until Keith finally unloaded a looping pass toward Eric Adeyemi near the sideline. Garrett deftly stepped in its path and corralled the ball near his shoestrings, and took off untouched 45 yards down the sideline to give Kansas State a 7-0 lead.
It was the first interception returned for a touchdown by Kansas State since Jeffrey Fitzgerald did it against Texas Tech on Oct. 10, 2009.
The Wildcats' offense started purring for the first time all season on their next series.
Backed up to his 3 after a false start, Klein picked his way through the line for a 46-yard gain on first down, and Kansas State methodically marched the rest of the way. Kent State helped with a pair of personal fouls, and Klein capped the 95-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run.
It was the first of three straight drives that Kansas State turned into touchdowns.
The Wildcats went 98 yards the next time they had the ball, converting four third downs along the way, the final one when Klein hit Sheldon Smith sliding just across the goal line for a 3-yard TD toss that made the score 21-0.
Unable to get anything going offensively, Kent State resorted to trying a fake punt after its next drive stalled, but even that failed. The turnover gave Kansas State the ball at the Golden Flashes' 48, and Klein completed three straight passes before scampering in from 4 yards out for another score.
Anthony Cantele tacked on a pair of field goals for Kansas State, and the Golden Flashes were well on their way to starting 0-3 for the first time since the 2000 season.
The Associated Press News Service
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