Kansas St. 34, Ariz. St. 27

-- On paper, it should have been a blowout.

This being the Holiday Bowl, though, anything goes. And No. 6 Kansas State, favored by 18 points, almost went home a loser.

Ell Roberson rallied the Wildcats with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 10-yard pass to Derrick Evans with 1 minute 15 seconds to play, for a 34-27 victory over scrappy Arizona State on Friday night.

Roberson also scored on sneaks of two yards and one yard in the quarter to add to the Holiday Bowl's history of wild finishes. He had four touchdowns overall, having also scored on a 32-yard run just before halftime as the Wildcats began rebounding from a slow start.

"I think he'll tell you he's had better games," Coach Bill Snyder said. "But when it was on the line, he was very special."

Kansas State (11-2), the highest-ranked team not in a Bowl Championship Series game, trailed 20-14 entering the fourth quarter and seemed on the verge of what would have been a shocking loss.

By then, though, Roberson was well on his way to leading a 16-play, 65-yard drive that took 7:13. His two-yard plunge pulled the Wildcats into a 20-20 tie with 12:36 left in the fourth quarter, but they blew the extra point.

Arizona State needed just 1:46 to go ahead 27-20 on Andrew Walter's 10-yard misdirection screen pass to Mike Williams, when the quarterback rolled right and threw left. Walter was 6 of 8 for 78 yards on the drive.

But Roberson came back and led an 80-yard drive that he finished with one-yard sneak for a 27-27 tie with 6:41 left.