Wildcats Corral Buffaloes 20-6

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State's defense came up big against Colorado on Saturday to give the Wildcats a 20-6 homecoming victory and remain atop the Big 12 North standings. K-State limited the Buffaloes to 244 total yards on offense and just 60 on the ground.

While the Wildcat defense was able to shut down the Buffalo offense, K-State's own offense controlled the tempo of the game with quick strikes in the first half to build a lead and long clock-eating drives in the second half to hold off the Buffaloes.

After Colorado (2-5, 1-2 Big 12) scored on its opening drive, K-State (5-3, 3-1) stifled the Buffaloes the remainder of the game by not surrendering any points. This was the lowest point total allowed to a Big 12 opponent by the K-State defense since Oct. 8, 2005 against Kansas.

With Colorado threatening to score late in the game on fourth down from the two-yard line, Emmanuel Lamur came up with his second interception of the day to preserve the win. Both of Lamur's interceptions were 50-50 balls where he ripped the ball out of a receiver's hands as they both got to the play at the same time.

Running back Daniel Thomas carried much of the load for K-State with a career-high 145 yards rushing on 20 carries with one score. Defensively for K-State, Ulla Pomele led with seven tackles, including his first sack of the season. Jeffrey Fitzgerald continued his strong play from a week ago with 1.5 sacks and a number of quarterback pressures.

A 35-yard rush by Thomas down the K-State sideline helped the Wildcats march down the field on their first drive of the game and put points on the board first with a 24-yard field goal by Josh Cherry to cap off the drive of 61 yards. Cherry has converted four straight field goal opportunities and remains perfect in Big 12 action.

The Buffaloes also scored on their first drive of the game to answer K-State's field goal with a touchdown by running back Rodney Stewart. Colorado would miss the extra point, however, to lead 6-3.

Thomas tallied his ninth touchdown run of the season early in the second quarter, as the Wildcats completed a 58-yard drive to reclaim the lead, 10-6.

K-State saw the momentum shift to its side with the game's first turnover, when Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen fumbled the snap on a first-and-20 situation from the Buffaloes' own 15-yard line. Pomele recovered the fumble for the Wildcats, and K-State kicked a 27-yard field goal after the Wildcats could not punch the ball into the endzone to lead, 13-6.

All the swing plays seemed to go K-State's way in the first half with a muffed punt by Colorado gave the Wildcats the ball at the Colorado 20-yard line with 3:35 remaining in the second quarter. After the Buffaloes forced a three-and-out on defense, Jason Espinoza muffed the punt and K-State long-snapper Corey Adams recovered the ball for K-State.

The Wildcats would take full advantage of the turnover this time around, as Gregory punched the ball in on a rush up the middle for five yards to go ahead 20-6 with just over a minute remaining in the half.

Another turnover in the closing seconds of the half gave K-State a shot at the endzone to finish the half. Lamur ripped a pass out of the hands of a Colorado receiver for an interception as they both went up for the ball at the same time. The pick gave K-State the ball at its own 46-yard line but could not score heading into the locker room.

The third quarter saw each team's defense shutdown the respective offenses with no points being scored. K-State gained just 49 yards in the third quarter while Colorado could only muster 25 with negative-three yards rushing thanks to a number of sacks and quarterback pressures by K-State.

K-State will travel to take on Oklahoma on the road next week with kickoff set for 6 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Network. K-State volleyball will also be in Norman to take on the Sooners at 2 p.m. next door to Memorial Stadium in McCasland Field House. Oklahoma is offering a discounted volleyball ticket for $3 with a football ticket so fans can enjoy all the Wildcat vs. Sooner action on Saturday.

- k-statesports.com -