Wildcats avoid home upset with last-minute touchdown

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Carson Coffman's 7-yard touchdown run with 24 seconds left lifted Kansas State to a come-from-behind 17-13 victory Saturday over Central Florida, giving the Wildcats a 4-0 start for the first time since 2003.

Delayed by weather for almost 1 1/2 hours in the first quarter, the game was dominated by Central Florida (2-2) for much of the day. But the Knights failed to make good on several touchdown opportunities, and Kansas State took its first lead of the day when Coffman engineered a 13-play, 67-yard scoring march on the Wildcats' final possession.

Daniel Thomas, who came in as the nation's second-leading rusher, totaled only 76 yards on 22 carries but had a key 12-yard gain during the game-winning drive.

Nick Cattoi, who missed two field goals, connected from 27 yards for a 13-10 Central Florida lead with 5:14 to play, and Kansas State took over on its own 33.

Coffman, on third-and-10, connected with Andre McDonald for 18 yards to keep the drive going. Thomas picked up 12 yards to the 22, and Coffman connected on another third-down pass to set up a first-and-goal from the 10. Two plays later, Coffman kept the ball and darted through a big hole.

Ronnie Weaver ran for 130 yards for Central Florida and freshman quarterback Jeff Godfrey added 99 yards, often on quarterback keepers in which he took advantage of the slower Kansas State defense.

With less than 3 minutes gone in the first quarter, officials halted play because of lightning accompanying a heavy storm bearing down on the area. Dark, boiling, ominous-looking clouds rarely seen on the Great Plains seemed to envelop the stadium before heavy rains pelted the area and caused a delay of 1 hour, 26 minutes.

The Wildcats, with Thomas held entirely in check, managed only three yards the first quarter and 43 yards for the half. Central Florida took a 7-0 halftime lead on Weaver's 8-yard run.

In the second quarter, Godfrey went up the middle for 10 yards on a keeper. He then sped 20 yards around left end and possibly would have scored if Ty Zimmerman's ankle tackle hadn't brought him down on the 25.

A 4-yard loss and a 5-yard penalty pushed the Knights back and Cattoi missed a 42-yard field goal attempt.

Late in the third quarter, Weaver broke a 31-yard run to the 9. But Stephen Harrison broke up Godfrey's pass in the end zone, and Cattoi missed from 23 yards.

A.J. Guyton was all by himself along the sideline when he hauled in Godfrey's pass late in the third period. But after running unopposed for a 32-yard gain, he suddenly collapsed onto the turf with an apparent leg injury. The Knights drove on to a first-and-goal but had to bring in Cattoi, who finally made good on a 31-yarder for a 10-3 lead with 12:38 left.

Both of Kansas State's first two scores came off big pass plays to wide-open receivers. Tramaine Thompson got open for a 73-yard catch-and-run, leading to Josh Cherry's 27-yard field goal. Then the Wildcats tied it 10-10 when Coffman found Aubrey Quarles all alone on the sideline for a 58-yard touchdown play.

The Knights again failed to cash in an opportunity when Kermel Ishmael caused and recovered a fumble by Thomas. A 15-yard penalty for a late hit by Zimmerman moved the Knights even closer, but they were stopped on fourth-and-1 from the 10.