MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State rallied for a 27-24 victory over South Dakota in the season-opening football game for both teams Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium here
The Coyotes had a chance to tie on the game’s last play, but a 52-yard field goal attempt fell short. South Dakota had a 24-12 lead on Kansas State at halftime.
In fact, it was still 24-12 after three quarters and an 85-yard punt return by Isaiah Zuber narrowed Kansas State’s deficit to 24-19 with 12:12 left in the game.
After USD punted it away, the Wildcats mounted what proved to be the game-winning drive, capped by a touchdown pass from Skyler Thompson to Zuber in the back of the end zone with 7:21 left. A two-point conversion run gave Kansas State a 27-24 lead, but there was still plenty of action left.
Kansas State forced another punt and appeared set to run the clock out before fumbling it away. That gave the Coyotes another chance and they moved it to the KSU 30-yard line before a 5-yard penalty pushed them back.
South Dakota ‘s Mason Lorber wound up trying the long field goal that came up short. The Coyotes, though, very nearly upset the Big 12 Conference squad. Lorber had another long field goal attempt hit the cross bar in the third quarter.
Coach Bob Nielson’s Coyotes took command late in the second quarter, scoring 14 points in a span of 20 seconds after Kansas State had taken a 12-10 lead on its fourth field goal of the first half. Kansas State had a punt returned touchdown nullified by a penalty and an interception wiped out by another infraction in the first half.
A personal foul penalty on Kansas State’s Eli Walker for spiking the ball led to USD getting the ball at the 42. Kai Henry bolted up the middle to the 7-yard line before Austin Simmons threw a touchdown pass to Dakarai Allen.
Alex Gray then intercepted an Alex Delton pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown with just over a minute left before intermission.
Lorber kicked a 27-yard field goal to open the scoring before Kansas State tied it on a Blake Lynch 24-yard field goal – his first of four in the first half. South Dakota went ahead 10-3 on a 2-yard run by Simmons.
Simmons finished 24-for-56 for 257 yards in his first collegiate start at quarterback. Levi Falck had 11 receptions for 140 yards.