The Fiesta Bowl was tied for 11 seconds.
On the 12th second of the game, De'Anthony Thomas crossed the finish line—I mean end zone—to cap off his 94-yard dash—I mean kickoff return—and gave the Oregon Ducks a lead over the Kansas State Wildcats they would never lose.
In the end, the No. 5 Ducks left Glendale, Ariz., with a 35-17 victory.
Thomas added a 23-yard touchdown reception to make it 15-0 early in the first quarter, but the seventh-ranked Wildcats responded nicely.
Colin Klein finished off an impressive 58-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run (his 12th straight game with one) and Anthony Cantele knocked in a field goal a few minutes later to make it 15-10.
After the Wildcats stopped one of Chip Kelly's patented fake punt attempts, it appeared as though we would enter halftime with a close ballgame on our hands.
But in typical Oregon fashion, Marcus Mariota took the ball with one minute left before intermission and led a five-play, 77-yard touchdown drive in just 46 seconds to completely change the momentum going into the break.
That was all the Ducks would need, as they came out and completely dominated both sides of the ball in the third quarter.
K-State grabbed a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was far from enough.
In case DeAnthony Thomas' first two touchdowns didn't convince you of his speed, here's some numerical proof (via former Olympic athlete Josh Cox):
And he's strong. Via ESPN's Numbers Never Lie:
3. The number of K-State defenders that De'Anthony Thomas CARRIED ACROSS THE GOAL LINE for this TD (GIF): bit.ly/1377Ecv— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) January 4, 2013
Now only one question remains: How fast does he run the 200 with three grown men on his back?
Still, despite that immense talent on Oregon's side of the football, Kansas State's defense did a good job of staying strong. CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler:
Oregon with 22-10 lead despite 52 rushing yards on 13 attempts. Kansas State been solid up front.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) January 4, 2013
In the third quarter, one of the most bizarre plays you will ever see took place. Kansas State blocked Oregon's PAT, recovered the ball at the two, scrambled backward and was tackled in the end zone.
The Ducks were rewarded with the point on the account of the "one-point safety" rule, which is pretty rare (via the Fiesta Bowl's official Twitter account):
To those wondering: there have only been four 1-point safeties in NCAA history. So that was rare.— Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (@FiestaBowl) January 4, 2013
When Kansas State was unable to get a necessary touchdown on a late drive, ESPN's Pac-12 Blog signaled the end with this tweet:
Well.. I just got out my fork…. Thought this one would have more 4th quarter tension.— ESPN_Pac12blog (@ESPN_Pac12blog) January 4, 2013
That's when you really know it's over. When the fork gets broken out.
Player of the Game: De'Anthony Thomas
If there is one player who is going to make opposing teams want an eligibility rule change (besides Jadeveon Clowney), it's true sophomore De'Anthony Thomas.
The explosive back is nearly impossible to take down once he gets the smallest amount of open space, and he proved that once again Thursday night with the kickoff return and four catches for 60 yards.
In fact, despite limited touches, he did this (via Oregon assistant AD Andy McNamara):
Thomas' backfield mate, Kenjon Barner, deserves credit too. He did the dirty work (29 carries, 142 yards, one touchdown), but it was Thomas' big-time plays that broke Kansas State's spirit early on.