Oregon runs past Kansas State in Fiesta Bowl
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Oregon's DeAnthony Thomas raced 94 yards for a touchdown on the opening kickoff.
The fifth-ranked Ducks barely looked back after that.
Triggered by Thomas' attention-grabbing return, Oregon raced past No. 7 Kansas State, 35-17, Thursday night at the Fiesta Bowl in what may have been coach Chip Kelly's final game with the Ducks.
Teams that had that national title aspirations end on the same day, Oregon and Kansas State ended up in the desert for a marquee matchup billed as a battle of styles: The fast-flying Ducks vs. the execution-is-everything Wildcats.
With Kelly reportedly talking to several NFL teams, Oregon (12-1) was too much for Kansas State and its Heisman Trophy finalist, Collin Klein.
Thomas followed his before-everyone-sat-down kickoff return with a 23-yard touchdown catch, finishing with 195 total yards.
Kenjon Barner ran for 143 yards on 31 carries and scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota in the second quarter. Mariota later scored on a 2-yard run.
Even Oregon's defense got into the act, intercepting Klein twice and holding him to 30 yards on 13 carries.
Whether Kelly leaves Eugene or not, he had a good run, leading the Ducks to four straight trips to BCS bowls, the last two wins.