The future has arrived.
Kansas State rallied from a 19-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Iowa State, 20-19, as time expired Saturday evening in Manhattan.
Thompson found Isaiah Zuber in the back of the end zone to cap a ten-play, 87-yard drive in the final two minutes.
“I don’t think giving up is in their vocabulary,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “I think they always fight.”
For more than three quarters, K-State’s offense accomplished very little against the Cyclones. In fact, the Wildcats didn’t even reach 100 total yards until the fourth quarter.
A comeback in such circumstances seemed unlikely at best. But Snyder knows Thompson has the X-factor, even as a redshirt freshman.
“I think he’s a poised young man,” Snyder said. “He pays close attention to the coaches and works diligently on what he does. He has a confidence level that is appropriate for the position he plays.”
Thompson completed 15 of 21 passes in the game for 152 yards, with 110 of those coming on the Wildcats’ final two drives of the game.
The Wildcats (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) were without the majority of their starting secondary as D.J. Reed, Kendall Adams and A.J. Parker all missed the game. ISU quarterback Kyle Kempt completed 24 of 36 passes for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
But K-State held ISU to a pair of field goals deep in its own territory, which proved to make a huge difference in the game.
“I was very proud of them,” Snyder said. “One of our nemeses was third downs; they converted too many. But I was pleased with the youngsters that filled in.”
The Cyclones (7-5, 5-4) had a chance to close the game in the final minutes, and appeared to do so. But a pass interference penalty on K-State was picked up and forced ISU to punt.
Thompson and the offense took over at their own 13 yard line with 1:55 remaining. All of a sudden, K-State’s receivers found open space, and Thompson made all the throws he needed to.
Similar to the game itself, the game-winner to Zuber didn’t go as planned. Thompson scrambled and rolled out to the right in desperate search of an open man. At the last possible moment, he found Zuber with space at the back of the end zone.
K-State will learn its bowl destination next week.