Banks Has Banner Day As K-State Rolls 49-7

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Senior Brandon Banks became the 12th player in NCAA history, including the first Big 12 player, to return two kickoff for touchdowns in the same game, as Kansas State rolled past Tennessee Tech, 49-7, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

Banks, whose 303 all-purpose yards ranks fifth in school history, broke a 7-all tie with a 91-yard kick return with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter then jump-started the second half with a 92-yard return to give the Wildcats a 28-7 lead.  Banks also had three receptions for 90 yards, including an electrifying 64-yard reception to set up a 2-yard score by junior running back Daniel Thomas in the second quarter.  The last player to achieve the feat of two kickoff returns for touchdowns was UCLA's Brandon Breazell against Northwestern in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 30, 2005.

Banks' banner day overshadowed another fine outing by Thomas, who recorded his third 100-yard rushing game of the season with a career-high 139 yards to go with two touchdowns.  Two other rushers - seniors Keithen Valentine (73 yards on 10 carries) and Grant Gregory (58 yards on nine carries) - tallied 50 or more yards to help the Wildcats post their highest rushing total since 2005.   

Junior quarterback Carson Coffman was also solid on the day, completing 8-of-9 passes for 131 yards.  He also capped K-State's second offensive scoring drive with a 5-yard score in the second quarter. 

Backup signal caller Grant Gregory saw his most significant action of the season, playing most of the third and fourth quarters.  Gregory was a perfect 2-of-2 passing for 21 yards to go with 58 yards rushing.  He scored his first career touchdown as a Wildcat on a one-yard run with 10:50 left in the fourth quarter that capped the scoring. 

The Kansas State offense finished with a season-high 49 points, which was four more than it had totaled in its three previous games of the season.  The squad also collected season bests for total yards (448) and rushing yards (296).  The 296 yards rushing were the most since the Wildcats had 305 yards against North Texas on Sept. 24, 2005.

The defense was again stellar on the afternoon, holding the Golden Eagles to just 107 yards of total offense including negative 19 yards rushing to go with three sacks.  It was the fewest yards yielded an opponent since allowing 53 yards against Ball State on Sept. 16, 2000, while it was lowest rushing output by an foe since Baylor had minus 37 yards rushing on Oct. 26, 2002.    

Kansas State begins Big 12 Conference play next Saturday when the Wildcats travel to Kansas City, Mo., to play Iowa State (2-1) at Arrowhead Stadium for a 2 p.m. kickoff.