Manhattan, Kan. (WesternKansasNews.com)–With the excitement of a brand new $90 million West Stadium Center, the Kansas State Wildcats opened up the 2013 season against the two-time FCS (Football Championship Sub-Division) North Dakota State Bison Friday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The joy turned to disbelief, as the Bison rallied for a 24-21 victory over the defending Big 12 Champions.
After a touchdown by North Dakota State late in the first quarter, Kansas State rallied to tie the game at seven with 10:13 remaining before halftime, on a 45-yard pass play from Jake Waters to Tramaine Thompson. That would end up being the score at the break.
The Wildcats opened up the second half with a pair of scores, the first being 56-yard pitch and catch from Waters to Aaron Lockett just 61 seconds into the third quarter. After a Dante Barnett interception, backup quarterback Daniel Sams took the direct snap for a 17-yard run on his first play of the game at the 9:56 mark of the third quarter. It looked like K-State had things under control, but the Bison would stampede back, using a six minute, 15 second drive, on a nine-yard pass from Brock Jensen to Kevin Vaadeland. North Dakota State tacked on a field goal late in the third quarter to make it 21-17 Wildcats after three.
In the fourth quarter, the Bison would pull the stunner with an 18 play, 80 yard drive, that used up eight minutes and 30 seconds, capped off by a one-yard run by Jensen with 28 seconds remaining. Kansas State had one last opportunity in the final seconds without any timeouts, but Waters would be intercepted, and the Bison would pull off their fourth straight win over a FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) team in as many years. They surprised Kansas in 2010 9-6 in then-Jayhawk Coach Turner Gill’s debut, as well as wins over Colorado State and Minnesota in the last two years.
Kansas State saw Waters throw for 280 yards in his Wildcat debut. North Dakota State outgained the Wildcats 380-321, including a decisive 215-41 ground advantage, and a 36:03-23:57 time advantage.
The road won’t be easy for K-State (0-1), as they host Sun Belt Conference favorite Louisiana (Lafayette) Saturday, September 7 at 5:30, which can be heard on Mix 94. Louisiana visits Arkansas for their season debut.
Below are some audio clips from coach Bill Snyder and selected K-State players.