THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Saturday 5 January 2013
Last update 4 January 2013 11:21 pm
GLENDALE, Arizona: Oregon’s DeAnthony Thomas raced 94 yards for a touchdown on the opening kickoff, putting the Ducks on their way to a 35-17 win over Kansas State on Thursday night in college football’s Fiesta Bowl.
Ducks coach Chip Kelly may have been in charge for the last time, as he is reportedly in talks with a few NFL teams. He has led the team to bowl games in four straight years, winning the past two.
Thomas offered the first flash of speed, crossing into the end zone after picking up a couple of blocks and racing past Oregon’s bench for a touchdown on the opening kickoff. The Ducks went for 2 on the point-after and converted on a trick play to go up 8-0 in the game’s first 12 seconds.
Thomas hit the Wildcats again late in the first quarter, breaking a couple of tackles and dragging three defenders into the end zone for a catch-and-run TD that put the Ducks up 15-0.
Kansas State needed a little time to get going on offense, laboring early before vaunted quarterback Collin Klein scored on a 6-yard run early in the second quarter.
Klein kept the Wildcats moving in the quarter, though not toward touchdowns: Anthony Cantele hit a 25-yard field goal and missed from 40 after a false-start penalty.
Oregon followed Cantele’s miss by unleashing one of its trademark rapid scoring drives late in the second quarter. Moving 77 yards in 46 seconds, the Ducks went up 22-10 at halftime after quarterback Marcus Mariota hit Kenjon Barner on 24-yard TD pass.
Alejandro Maldonado hit a 33-yard field goal on Oregon’s opening drive of the third quarter and Mariota capped a long drive with an easy 2-yard TD run. Kansas State’s Javonta Boyd blocked the point-after attempt, but even that went wrong for the Wildcats: Chris Harper was tackled in the end zone for a bizarre 1-point safety that put Oregon up 32-10.
Klein hit John Hubert on a 10-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, but all that did was cut Oregon’s lead down to 32-17.