Thomas The Real Deal

Daniel Thomas has stepped onto the Kansas State scene and dashed for yardage like no other K-State back dating back 40-plus years. The Hilliard, Fla., native currently leads the Big 12 Conference with his 120-yard average.

Just two games … only eight quarters … into the 2009 season, Kansas State has its go-to talent in Daniel Thomas.

The 6-foot-2, 227-pounder demonstrated that in the opener with a 104-yard rushing performance against UMass in the opener, and then a 136-yard performance against Louisiana, which included a 1-yard TD run out of the "Wildcat" formation, plus a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jeron Mastrud.

"That showed me he'd be a good basketball player," coach Bill Snyder said of Thomas' jump-pass to his tight end. "He has a good jump shot."

Thomas' back-to-back 100-yard games are the first such games to open a K-State career dating back to Cornelius Davis in 1966. It is the first time a Wildcat back has gone over the century mark in consecutive games since James Johnson in 2007.

Should Thomas go over 100 yards against UCLA this weekend, he would be the first back in KSU history to start a career with three straight century games.

Out of the "Wildcat" set, Snyder said, "We'd like to see him a little more patient, but I have no complaints."

But Snyder also says that Kansas State is not win football games with an offensive team of Thomas, Thomas, and more Thomas.

"We can't survive like that. When you put all your marbles in one basket, people defending that basket have the advantage," said Snyder. "We have to try to regain some of our continuity as it relates to diversity in our offense. We have to improve our passing game, and have to improve our ability to run the ball with other people.

"We're not only playing against good players, but also good coaches," Snyder said. "The more compact you become, the easier it is to defend."

K-State would also be tougher to defend with more consistent quarterback play. No one admits that more quickly than the quarterbacks, themselves.

"We had a ton of opportunities to score in the first half and couldn't convert," said starter Carson Coffman.

On what's missing, Coffman said, "Just continuity, I think we have what it takes to be a good offense, but we just haven't put it together in a long string of plays."

When Coffman wasn't on the field, Grant Gregory played two first-quarter possessions without any success.

"It's extremely frustrating to get put into the game and do nothing with it," Gregory said. " Asked about the team's confidence level, Gregory said, "It is not as good as it would be if we went out there and scored 40 points. We just have to practice better and we have to prepare for the best defense that we have played so far."

That Bruin defense held Tennessee to 115 rushing yards and only 93 through the air, plus had three interceptions of Volunteer passes. With Carson, even he admits his play has been reduced because of a case of nerves in the first two games.

"When I evaluate myself, I look like I'm trying not to make mistakes," Coffman said. "I need to just let it go and go out and play. I know I can play. I just have to go out and do it." INJURY NOTES:
• UCLA will be without starting quarterback Kevin Prince, who suffered a fractured jaw in the Tennessee game and will be out of action three to four weeks. Taking his spot will be freshman Richard Brehaut. He completed both of his passes against Tennessee.
• Snyder indicated K-State defensive end Brandon Harold would be out of action another three weeks with his injured knee.


Asked about his concerns on playing the Bruins and the trip to the west coast, Snyder quipped, "On a scale of 1 to 10, it's about a 44." HOME BY…

Snyder indicated the team will not arrive back from Los Angeles until 6:30 Sunday morning.

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