Sept. 18, 2010
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Daniel Thomas rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 34 carries, and Kansas State rallied to beat Iowa State 27-20 on Saturday.
Carson Coffman added 104 passing yards for the Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 Big 12), who have won back-to-back conference openers for the first time in 10 years.
Austen Arnaud threw for 122 yards and a touchdown to lead Iowa State (1-2, 0-1), which lost its third straight to Kansas State.
Thomas's 2-yard TD run gave Kansas State a 24-20 lead with 6:47 left. Brandon Harold then sacked Arnaud with 1:58 left and recovered a fumble, setting up a 42-yard field goal by Josh Cherry 20 seconds later.
The Cyclones drove to the Wildcats' 36-yard line with 19 seconds left, but Arnaud threw a pair of incompletions to end the rally.
Down three early in the fourth quarter, Kansas State jumped back ahead 24-20 with an 83-yard touchdown drive. Thomas capped it with five straight carries, including the touchdown run off a pitch from Coffman, after Brodrick Smith came back to the ball for a crucial 47-yard catch.
Iowa State rolled the dice, converting a fourth-and-1 from their own 17 with 4:57 left and on fourth-and-1 from their own 28 a few plays later. But Arnaud never saw Harold coming, and Harold scooped up the ball at Iowa State's 25-yard line.
Iowa State burned all its timeouts to get the ball back with 1:38 left and a chance to tie it. The Cyclones got close, but Arnaud missed a wide-open Alexander Robinson downfield, and Iowa State didn't get any closer.
Thomas opened the second half with a 23-yard run, and it looked like the Wildcats were finally poised to take over a game they had controlled to that point.
That's when Coffman threw it right to Iowa State linebacker A.J. Klein -- who was in zone coverage without a receiver in sight -- and Klein's 69-yard interception return gave Iowa State an improbable 14-10 lead.
Thomas nearly got into the miscue act himself, losing control of the ball at the goal line on a spectacular 1-yard touchdown plunge midway through the third quarter. A review held up the call, though, putting the Wildcats back ahead 17-14.
Grant Mahoney's field goal tied the game at 17 late in the third quarter, and he put Iowa State ahead 20-17 with 11:26 to go.
The Wildcats ran it 28 times for 163 yards against Iowa State's suspect rush defense in the first half, but a muffed fake field goal helped keep the Cyclones within 10-7.
Iowa State jumped ahead 7-3 on Arnaud's 13-yard TD pass to Jake Williams to start the second quarter. Coffman answered with a 10-yard touchdown run on an option keeper to put Kansas State on top 10-7 with 11:02 left in the second quarter.
But after a couple misfires from Coffman late in the second quarter, Kansas State opted for a fake that failed miserably, as punter/holder Ryan Doerr got drilled behind the line and fumbled.
This was the last of a two-game series between Kansas State and Iowa State in Kansas City, with the Wildcats as the designated home team. The game drew 38,468 -- about 11,000 less than Kansas State averaged for its first two games in Manhattan.