Record Crowd Sees Wildcats' Win 21-17

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Junior quarterback Carson Coffman tossed a pair of touchdowns to senior wide receiver Attrail Snipes to help Kansas State to a 21-17 win over Massachusetts before a season-opening record crowd of 50,750 on Saturday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

With over 300 former players in attendance for the K-State Family Reunion, head coach Bill Snyder made his triumphant return to the sideline after a three-year retirement, guiding the Wildcats to their 15th consecutive home season opening win.  Overall, Snyder-coached teams own a 17-game winning streak in season openers. 

Coffman, who was making his starting debut for the Wildcats, completed 14-of-27 passes for 182 yards and a career-high two touchdowns to go with another score on the ground.  He connected on a 40-yard strike to Snipes with 5:34 play in the second quarter for his first touchdown pass of the season.  He followed with a second to Snipes right before the half with a 12-yard bullet.

Coffman got plenty of help from the running game, as backs Daniel Thomas and Keithen Valentine helped the squad post its highest rushing total (225) since collecting 262 yards against Missouri on October 21, 2006.  Thomas, making his debut in a Wildcat uniform, rushed for 104 yards on 23 carries.  The 104 yards were the most by a K-State running back in a debut since 1993.  Valentine added 89 yards on 11 touches.  

Down 3-0 to UMass after one quarter of play, the Wildcat offense grabbed the lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Coffman to cap an eight-play drive.  Thomas and Valentine both had key runs on the drive, including a 34-yard scamper by Valentine to put the Wildcats in scoring range at the UMass 6.  

A field goal block by Emmanuel Lamur set up the Wildcats' next score, as Coffman and company drove 74 yards on five plays capped by the 40-yard pass to Snipes.  

A blocked punt by Chris Carney set up the final score of the second quarter.  Coffman guided the Wildcats to the end zone on just two plays, first a 28-yard pass to Brandon Banks and then the 12-yard strike to Snipes.

Trailing 21-3 at the half, UMass made a near comeback with two second-half touchdowns, both set up by K-State miscues. 

Kyle Havens turned the first turnover-a muffed punt by Brandon Banks- into on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Krevis late in the third quarter. On K-State's next drive, D.J. Adeoba scooped up Jeremy Horne's blocked punt and rumbled 26 yards for a touchdown to get the Minutemen within four.

K-State returns to action on Saturday, as the Wildcats make their first road trip of the season to Louisiana for a 6 p.m. kick at Cajun Field.