Jake Waters ran for an 8-yard touchdown with 1:30 left to push 20th-ranked Kansas State past host Iowa State 32-28 on Saturday.
Waters threw for 239 yards and ran for a career-high 138 yards for the Wildcats (2-0, 1-0 Big 12). They trailed by as much as 28-13 late in the first half before Waters rescued them on a game-winning drive.
Waters followed a key 23-yard completion to Tyler Lockett with a 25-yard run with just under two minutes left. Waters then capped an 80-yard drive that took just 1:31 with his second touchdown run of the day.
Jarvis West caught and threw touchdown passes and ran a punt back for a third TD for Iowa State (0-2, 0-1), which was held scoreless in the second half.
It was a tough loss for the Cyclones: They nearly knocked off a ranked opponent just a week after losing by 20 to FCS school North Dakota State.
Kansas State's Randall Evans ripped the ball away from West for an interception with 9:15 left. The Wildcats went 54 yards in 74 seconds, moving within 28-26 on a 4-yard TD run by Charles Jones.
Waters looked like he had more than enough space to tie the game on a 2-point conversion run. But Kamari Cotton-Moya -- who was ejected from last week's loss for targeting -- sprinted to the hole, turned Waters sideways at the goal line and preserved Iowa State's lead.
That seemed like it would be the game's key play. But Lockett's crucial reception, which held up upon review, set the athletic Waters up to close the game out with his feet.
Jones added 75 yards rushing for the Wildcats.
Iowa State was in need of a decent showing after allowing 506 yards and getting shut out for the final 44 minutes last week.
The Wildcats made it look way too easy way too soon.
Lockett went 57 yards off a short catch just four plays in, and Jones walked in untouched from four yards out for a quick 7-0 lead.
The Wildcats tacked on a pair of field goals before Iowa State finally woke up.
The Cyclones flipped things around by relying on West's versatility.
West kicked off his career day with a leaping 17-yard TD catch. He then took a punt 82 yards for a touchdown and a 14-13 lead early in the second quarter.
West capped a brilliant first half with a perfectly thrown 29-yard TD pass to Allen Lazard off a double reverse. That made it 28-13 Iowa State, thrilling a capacity crowd that once seemed resigned to defeat.
West is just the fourth player since 1996 with a passing, receiving and punt return touchdown in the same game, according to STATS LCC.
But Kansas State pulled within 28-20 just before halftime on a plunge from Waters, and the Wildcats defense stuffed Iowa State on a fourth-and-1 to open the second half.
Iowa State answered by stuffing Waters on a fourth and inches early in the fourth quarter, prompting Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads to run onto the field while furiously pumping his fists.
It was a short-lived celebration for Rhoads, who fell to 0-6 against Kansas State.