MANHATTAN (KSNT) – The Wildcats bounce back to start Big 12 play in the win column.

K-State beat UCF 44-31 Saturday in a career-night for DJ Giddens.

Giddens scored on the first drive. The 1-yard punch completed his effort on a 36-yard run three plays before.

UCF got comfortable after. The Golden Knights intercepted Will Howard’s pass and used that offensive drive to score, taking a 10-7 lead.

The Wildcats had an answer: Giddens. He caught a 24-yard pass to help move the offense down the field. Then, he ended the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to retake the lead, 14-10.

The defense helped K-State grow its lead. Desmond Purnell forced a fumble that VJ Payne recovered. On the following offensive drive, Giddens punches in an 18-yard touchdown for a 21-10 lead. UCF added a touchdown to make it a 21-17 game at the half.

UCF needed less than two minutes to score in the second half. For the first time since the first quarter, the Golden Knights led, 24-21.

Chris Tennant tied the game at 24 with a 30-yard field goal. The game stayed tied until there was 1:28 left in the third quarter. Howard punched in a touchdown, Giddens added one more to start the fourth and Howard scored again to wrap up the game.

Howard finished with 255 yards through the air, plus 64 on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. Giddens finished with 30 carries for 207 yards and four touchdowns.

Hayden High School product Desmond Purnell led the defense with seven tackles.

Next, K-State has its bye-week before a Friday game at Oklahoma State.