Thomas runs for 269 yards in K-State win

Published Nov. 27, 2010 6:07 p.m. ET



Associated Press

DENTON, Texas (AP) -- Daniel Thomas rushed for a career-high 269
yards and Kansas State closed the college home of "Mean" Joe Greene by
rallying for a 49-41 victory against North Texas on Saturday.

The Wildcats (7-5) fell behind 20-7 in the first half after Lance
Dunbar rushed for 161 yards and two long touchdowns in the first
quarter alone.

Dunbar finished with 270
yards and three touchdowns for the Mean Green (3-9), who are leaving
58-year-old Fouts Field and moving across Interstate 35 into a new $78
million stadium next year.

Kansas State
finally went ahead 21-20 on Carson Coffman's touchdown pass with 5
seconds left in the first half. The Wildcats scored twice early in the
third quarter to build a cushion that withstood a wild second half.

The half-full stadium had at least as much Wildcat purple as Mean
Green, but the Kansas State fans didn't have much to cheer for most of
the first half.

Running through huge holes,
Dunbar had a 52-yard scoring run on the fourth play of the game and
went 63 yards for a 20-7 lead with 3:33 left in the first quarter.

In his final audition for the permanent job, interim North Texas coach
Mike Canales did plenty of arm-pumping trying to keep his team in
front. But Kansas State's varied rushing attack kept coming.


Backup quarterback Collin Klein came off the bench in the third quarter
for a 6-yard scoring run and a nifty pitch to Braden Wilson for a
1-yard TD. Thomas took several direct snaps for runs that helped set up
both scores.

The rest of the game mocked
the legacy of Greene, the former Pittsburgh Steelers star who won four
Super Bowls as part of the stingy Steel Curtain defense.

Dunbar went 36 yards to finish a 79-yard touchdown drive that pulled
the Mean Green within 35-27, but Thomas answered with his second
touchdown, a 3-yard run that capped a 56-yard march.

The teams traded 90-plus-yard kickoff returns that left Kansas State in
front 49-34 early in the fourth quarter before North Texas drove
another 77 yards to pull within 49-41. Dunbar scored from 17 yards on a
fourth-down shovel pass from backup Chase Baine on the first snap after
starter Riley Dodge left on a stretcher with a neck injury.

Dodge spent about 10 minutes on the field but had full movement before going to a hospital for X-rays.

Both defenses stiffened late in the fourth quarter, but not before the teams combined for 909 yards.

The final play at Fouts Field was a Hail Mary toss from Baine that
traveled 60 yards before Kansas State intercepted it in the end zone.