MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Daniel Thomas rushed for 235 yards and two touchdowns and Kansas State rallied for a 31-22 victory over UCLA Saturday before a crowd of 51,059, the biggest for a home opener in Wildcats' history.
There were three touchdowns in the final 123 seconds and Kansas State had two, including Thomas' 35-yard gallop after the Wildcats fell on UCLA's onside kick.
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Thomas, the Big 12's leading rusher last year, set up scores with several big runs, including one for 44 yards and another for 29. His 28 carries and 235 yards were both career highs.
After Carson Coffman's 5-yard TD pass to Brodrick Smith put Kansas State ahead 24-16 with 2:03 left, Kevin Prince led the Bruins on a lightning-quick drive, hitting Cory Harkey for 35 yards and then connecting with Ricky Marvray on a 29-yard TD toss. With 1:19 to play, the Bruins elected to go for 2. But Prince's pass into the end zone fell incomplete and Kansas State's Travis Tannahill recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Seemingly just trying to run out the clock, the Wildcats handed the ball to Thomas and the quick, rugged senior burst through a hole over the right side and dashed 35 yards for the TD that clinched Kansas State's 21st consecutive victory in a home opener.
William Powell had 72 yards on just six carries for Kansas State, which erupted in the second half after managing only nine total yards in the entire second quarter. Coffman was 11 for 16 for just 66 yards and was sacked five times by a Bruin defense that had an answer for everything except Thomas. The preseason pick for offensive player of the year in the Big 12 also had two receptions, including one for 21 yards that set up the first touchdown.
The Bruins held on fourth-and-goal from the 1, but an illegal participation penalty on UCLA gave Kansas State another shot and Thomas scored.
A 60-yard punt and a great open field tackle pinned Kansas State deep in the second quarter and Coffman fumbled the snap. Akeem Ayers recovered for the Bruins, and on the next play, Prince faked left and bootlegged right, dashing untouched into the end zone.
UCLA's Kai Forbath, who struggled all week with a sore groin, kicked three field goals and ran his streak to 40 in a row from inside 50 yards. His 44-yarder put UCLA on top 10-7 near the end of the first half and he added one from 35 and one from 42. The last one came with 6:28 to go and pulled UCLA to 17-16.
Thomas' tackle-breaking 44-yard run in the third quarter was followed by William Powell's 28-yard touchdown run, giving Kansas State a 14-10 lead.
Kansas State's Josh Cherry had a 35-yard field goal near the end of the third quarter following Thomas' 29-yard burst. Thomas was the first Wildcat to rush for more than 200 yards in six years.