In a 39-14 Kansas State rout, one of the few things Texas did right still turned out wrong.
"Everything went our way, it seems like," Cherry said. "That basically did cap off our day."
Collin Klein, who learned just 30 minutes before kickoff that he would start at quarterback, rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns and the Wildcats (6-3 overall, 3-3 Big 12) intercepted five of Garrett Gilbert's passes to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2006.
Texas (4-5, 2-4) lost for the fifth time in six games and dipped beneath .500 for the first time since the 1999 team lost its opener. A year after playing for the national championship, Texas is guaranteed its worst record in Mack Brown's 14 years as coach.
The Longhorns will have to win their last three games -- home against No. 19 Oklahoma State, Florida Atlantic and Texas A&M -- just to match Brown's lowest victory total since going 7-5 at North Carolina in 1995.
"I know this -- you don't do all that he's done at Texas and North Carolina without being an absolutely outstanding football coach, and an outstanding person," said Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. "They'll come back. It happens to everybody. It's not the first time that Texas has had a down year. But they'll get back."
Gilbert, the 6-foot-4 sophomore who replaced Colt McCoy this season, completed more passes to Kansas State than did Klein, who was 2 for 4 for 9 yards. Gilbert was 32 for 59, but his interceptions led to 17 Kansas State points.
"We were out there having fun, flying around, trying to get to the football," said Tysyn Hartman, who had two interceptions.
Gilbert also rushed nine times for 98 yards. But at one point, the Wildcats intercepted three straight passes.
"I put our defense in some bad situations, and then we still felt like we had a chance at halftime," said Gilbert. "And to go out and turn the ball over on two of our first four snaps, I didn't feel like I gave us a very good chance to win. I mean, you just can't turn the ball over and make mistakes like that."
Brown said that Gilbert had been making improvement.
`Hopefully, he can continue to get better and have more luck at home," Brown said. "Garrett is as tough as nails. He is a guy that will let one play go and come back with the next."
Daniel Thomas ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats, who finally made good on their third try for their sixth win. Thomas ran 34 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage.
"I am very disappointed in the game," said Brown. "You have to give Bill Snyder credit. He took his backup quarterback and came in here and ran the ball all night."
Klein scored on runs of 12 and 10 yards and brought a roar from the crowd when he completed his first pass at the 7:29 mark of the third quarter.
"We did what we needed to win," said Klein. "With the short field we continued to get, we were just fortunate not to have to pass the ball. We were able to just punch it in."
Klein's only completions were short tosses to Thomas, who went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark with 106 yards on 18 carries.
Gilbert's 31-yard run in the fourth quarter set up Cody Johnson's 4-yard TD run, and with 31 seconds remaining, Gilbert tossed a 1-yard scoring pass to Dominique Jones.
Personal fouls on Jordan Hicks and Marquise Goodwin kept Kansas State's last TD drive alive. Given a first down on the 28 after Goodwin slammed into punter Ryan Doerr, Powell picked up 20 yards on one carry and then scored from the 8 on the next.