One play, winner takes all.
Miami quarterback Jacory Harris rolled left, then darted toward the goal line with the ball in his outstretched hands. Kansas State linebacker Tre Walker collided with him at full speed, grabbing him by the shoulders.
Players from both sides leaped in celebration.
Even the nearest official thought it was Miami's moment, signaling for a touchdown.
The videotape told a different story.
Walker's hit on fourth-and-goal with just under a minute left knocked Harris' right knee to the turf inches shy of the end zone, saving the day for Kansas State as the Wildcats escaped with a wild 28-24 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday.
Miami's final first down of the game came at the Kansas State 2 with 1:52 remaining, but the Hurricanes were thwarted on all four attempts, with Walker credited with tackles on the final three plays.
"I knew he was down, but I don't think I was that sure," Walker said.
"When I saw they put their hands up, I said no, I couldn't believe it. I thought he was down."
He was. Harris even seemed to doubt the original call, looking glumly at the huge video replay screen over the end zone. Miami coach Al Golden paced the sideline while the play was reviewed, head down and hands on his hips, as if he knew referee Pat Garvey was about to deliver the bad news.
"I'm proud of them for a lot of reasons," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "It wasn't just that play — but to have that stand down there was really special."
John Hubert ran for 166 yards and the go-ahead touchdown for the Wildcats (3-0). Collin Klein passed for two scores and ran for another for Kansas State, which blew an 11-point halftime lead before rallying.
Harris threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns for Miami (1-2), which got 106 yards and a touchdown from Lamar Miller. On those final four plays, Miami had a first-down pass that fell incomplete, had two Mike James runs stopped — Miller was dealing with a bad shoulder — and then Harris came up short on the final try.
"We have no one to blame but ourselves," Golden said.
It was the 145th time in the past 150 games in which Kansas State won when leading at halftime, and the Wildcats earned this one.
Miller's 59-yard touchdown run with 2:52 left in the third quarter got Miami within 21-17, and Harris found Travis Benjamin with a 34-yard scoring pass 43 seconds into the fourth quarter to give Miami a three-point lead.
It was a short-lived lead.
Bolstered by a 47-yard run by Hubert on third-and-1 — Miami was in something akin to goal-line defense, with just about everyone on the line of scrimmage 70 yards from its end zone — Kansas State went 80 yards on eight plays. Hubert's burst from 2 yards out capped the drive, putting Miami in need of late heroics.
Harris almost delivered.
"Never did I think that we weren't going to push it in," Harris said.
Klein finished with 93 yards rushing for Kansas State, which won despite being outgained 411-398. His arms bloodied from a few scrapes with the Florida Marlins' infield dirt, Klein completed 12 of 18 passes for 133 yards.
"I'm just glad we were able to hang on as an offense and hang on as a defense down the stretch," Klein said.
And as for the number of cuts he had?
"I don't know if I can count them up for you," Klein said.
Harris completed 21 of 31 passes, and Benjamin caught six balls for 91 yards to lead Miami.
Klein set the tone on the first possession, leading K-State 63 yards on 11 plays and going in from 2 yards out to give the Wildcats a 7-3 lead with 5:57 left in the first quarter.