was the Star.
And he was both.
By quarters, Thomas ran 7, 2, 8 and 7 times in the four quarters for 45, 10, 95 and 25 yards. Not one of his 24 runs resulted in negative-yardage plays.
In the third stanza, Thomas became only the ninth back in KSU history to go over the 1,000-yard mark, and he did it on only 182 carries. Only three other backs reached 1,000 yards of fewer carries.
Thomas now has 1,087 yards, which ranks eighth high for a single season.
Even the ultra-modest Thomas said after the game, "I think I am," when asked if he was the best back in the Big 12 and deserving of the Offensive Newcomer of the Year award.
"That's one of my goals," Thomas said. "Every transfer has that as a goal."
If it happens, it would give KSU three straight such honors as Brandon Banks won the award last year and Deon Murphy in 2007.
But co-starring on this day with Thomas was a K-State defense that was outstanding in hosting a team averaging 448 yards and 33 points per game to 301 yards and 10 points.
Cornerback Joshua Moore added, "Fundamentals. Fundamentals made the difference."
"We've been trying to force turnovers," said Houlik. "We noticed that he was carrying the ball loose, so we kept telling each other to strip the ball."
And they did, which helped limit the Jayhawks to their lowest scoring output of the season.
That's 10 points!
"That's something to be proud of because that's a stellar offense," said Houlik. Moore added, "Against that offense of play-makers, that's special. We were pretty good today."
KU had 10 possessions on the day. Of those, three went for negative yards and three others netted no more than 21 yards.
"They gave up some yardage and they gave up some field position, but they got the brakes put on," said KSU coach Bill Snyder, after Saturday's 17-10 win over Kansas. "It means somebody played pretty well."