COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Jeremy Maclin scored three touchdowns and totaled 278 all-purpose yards, helping No. 13 Missouri shake off a slow start in its home finale and whip Kansas State 41-24 Saturday night to grab first place in the Big 12 North.
Missouri (8-2, 4-2 Big 12) took control with 17 points in the final 5:46 of the half, including a pair of touchdown passes from Chase Daniel to Maclin. Maclin had eight receptions for 118 yards and two TDs, four carries for 84 yards and a third TD on a 56-yard jaunt on a direct snap.
Kansas State (4-6, 1-5) has lost five of six under lame-duck coach Ron Prince, the latest setback coming only three days after Prince was fired effective at the end of the season.
It was a familiar feeling of helplessness for the Kansas State defense, burned by Maclin as a freshman last year for three touchdowns and a school-record 360 yards total offense in Manhattan, Kan. Maclin entered the game averaging 189.67 all-purpose yards, second in the nation.
The Tigers got a strong effort from their lightly regarded defense to beat Kansas State for the third straight time after losing 13 in a row to the Wildcats.
Kansas State scored twice -- Brandon Banks' 93-yard run and a 3-yard touchdown pass from Carson Coffman to Banks -- in the final 1:11 to make the final appear respectable.
It was an emotional senior day for the Tigers. The father of linebacker Aaron O'Neal, who died after a voluntary summer workout in 2005 and never played for Missouri, led a procession of 23 seniors who have combined for 35 wins over four seasons in a pre-game ceremony.
Missouri is 11-2 against the North the last three seasons and can clinch its second straight Big 12 championship game berth next week with a victory at Iowa State combined with a Kansas loss at home against No. 5 Texas.
Kansas (6-4, 3-3) dropped a game back after losing 45-35 at Nebraska.
Missouri tight end Chase Coffman, averaging 10 catches the last four games, missed the game with a sprained big toe. The offense seemed out-of-sync early without Daniel's most consistent pass-catcher, running only seven plays on its first two possessions.
Blair Irvin's interception ended Missouri's first possession after only two plays, and the second drive netted one first down.
Two big plays from Maclin helped the Tigers open things up. He won a foot race on a simple swing pass on a 42-yard score, one play after Will Ebner's blocked punt, and caught a 16-yard touchdown pass on one leg in the back of the end zone.
Kansas State trailed 24-3 at the half and barely avoided getting shut out in the first 30 minutes for the second straight game, getting a 43-yard field goal from Brooks Rossman on the final play.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)