DALLAS (Ticker) -- Kansas State secured its place in history.
The ninth-ranked Wildcats became just the second team to win 11 games in four consecutive seasons by defeating No. 21 Tennessee, 35-21, in the Cotton Bowl.
Third-quarter touchdown runs of 12 and six yards by junior Josh Scobey three minutes apart were the difference as Kansas State improved its four-year record to 44-8, including three bowl victories.
"They (the seniors) have all had a positive impact on our younger players," said Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. "They are all very special and I am proud of all of them."
The Wildcats (11-3) joined Florida State as the only teams to reach the 11-win plateau in four consecutive seasons. The defending national champion Seminoles have done it the past five years and play for the title again Wednesday in the Orange Bowl.
After losing to top-ranked Oklahoma in the Big 12 Conference championship game, Bill Snyder gave his players the chance to vote on whether or not they wanted to accept a Cotton Bowl bid. The vote was unanimous, and the Wildcats played well in their second trip to Dallas in five years.
"It has been a very pleasant week for us," Snyder added. "We are very pleased with the win. Tennessee is a great program, we just played very well today."
Having lost the 1997 Cotton Bowl to Brigham Young, the Wildcats scored on their second possession and led 21-7 just 19 1/2 minutes into the contest.
Senior quarterback Jonathan Beasley ran for a 14-yard score 9:14 into the game and threw TD passes of 56 and 10 yards to Quincy Morgan to give Kansas State the two-touchdown advantage.
The Wildcats, who are 48-1 in their last 49 games when scoring first, frustrated Tennessee freshman quarterback Casey Clausen into a miserable 7-of-25, three-interception performance. Clausen did throw a 17-yard TD pass to David Martin, forcing a 7-7 tie in the first minute of the second quarter.
Scobey set a Kansas State bowl record by rushing for 147 yards on 28 carries, breaking the mark of 133 yards set by J.J. Smith in the 1993 Copper Bowl. Beasley added 98 yards on 17 attempts while completing 13-of-27 passes for 210 yards.
Tennessee's Travis Henry carried 17 times for 180 yards, 81 coming on a late touchdown scamper. The Volunteers (8-4) had their seven-game winning streak halted, losing for the first tim since Clausen assumed the starting quarterback role on October 21.
"I would like to congratulate Kansas State," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said. "I thought they did a heck of a job of taking a gameplan and executing it. They basically took us out behind the woodshed and spanked us."
The Volunteers, who fell to 22-18 all-time in bowl games, did not hold the momentum long following Clausen's TD pass. On the second play of the ensuing possession, Beasley lofted a perfectly thrown pass down the middle that Morgan caught in stride and raced untouched into the end zone.
Tennessee went three-and-out and Kansas State needed seven plays to go up 21-7. Morgan capped a 59-yard drive by cutting toward the middle on a crossing pattern from the right side for his second score in just over three minutes.
Morgan had 145 yards on seven receptions for the Wildcats, who outgained Tennessee, 507-298.
"We watched a lot of film and were very prepared," said Morgan. "If Beasley is on, we are on and that is why we ran the ball so well today."
Jabari Greer's 78-yard interception return for a score off a tipped pass pulled Tennessee within a touchdown with just over four minutes to play in the first half. But Scobey extended the lead with a 12-yard TD run just 1:42 into the third quarter.
"It's a great feeling (to get this win)," said Kansas State center Ben Leber. "I can't express how much we feel and how much hard work we've put in. This is exactly what we wanted. We wanted to come out and show the nation that we're tough and we can play with energy."
The game was halted for several minutes early in the final period after Tennessee defensive tackle Edward Kendrick took a helmet to a small of his back and lay motionless on the field. He was taken to Baylor Medical Center for further evaluation.
Tennessee fell to 2-3 in the Cotton Bowl. The Volunteers won the classic in 1951 and 1990 and lost in 1953 and 1969.
"Coming in we knew they were going to take away Travis (Henry) and pretty much make me make plays," Clausen said. "Today I didn't make any plaes. I had chances to get the ball in receivers' hands and I didn't do that.
It was the first meeting between the schools.