It has been a long bowl season for the Big 12, and Kansas State added it’s name to the tough loss column after a furious 2nd half comeback falls short, 40-35 Friday night in San Antonio. UCLA roared out of the gate to start the Alamo Bowl, quickly posting a 17-0 lead by the end of the 1st quarter that proved in the end to be too much for K-State to overcome.
The large contingent of K-State fans that had taken over the San Antonio River Walk throughout the week had little to cheer about early as the K-State offense struggled to muster any kind of attack in the opening half. Waters was regularly under duress, leading to 4 first half sacks in addition to 2 turnovers. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was sharp early, scoring twice on long runs as well as a late TD pass before halftime en route to a 31-6 lead for the Bruins.
The 2nd half was a different story for the Cats. K-State opened the 3rd quarter with a 17 play 75 yard drive capped with a 3 yd touchdown pass from Waters to Lockett. Jake again found Lockett in the endzone for the 2pt conversion cutting the lead to 31-14. After recovering a UCLA fumble just a few plays later, the Cats cut the UCLA lead to 10 on a DeMarcus Robinson 2 yd TD run. UCLA finally got on the board with just :33 left in the 3rd quarter with a 44 yard FG following a 40 yard rush by Hundley.
K-State would find the end zone again in the 4th quarter this time on a 1 yard QB sneak by Waters, to pull the Cats to within a single score at 34-28. That TD though, would come with just under 5 minutes left in the game putting pressure on the KSU defense to get a stop. UCLA would again turn to RB Paul Perkins who’s 67 yard TD run would push the UCLA total to 40 after the 2pt conversion was stopped short. Perkins finished the game with 194 yards on the night, often keeping the game just out of reach for the Cats.
K-State would go down swinging, scoring on a 29 yard TD pass when Waters again found Lockett in the end zone to push the final score to 40-35. UCLA recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock as Kansas State had just a single time out remaining after spending 2 to set up 4th down plays in the 3rd quarter.
Jake Waters finished his final contest 31-48, for 338 yards and 2 TDs, both of which went to fellow senior Tyler Lockett who made 13 catches for 164 yards and the 2 scores. Curry Sexton had 10 catches for 104 yards, pushing him over the 1000 yard mark on the season, making Sexton and Lockett the only pair of receivers in K-State history to both top the 1000 yard receiving mark in the same year.
After the game UCLA coach Jim Mora seemed to snub Coach Snyder at the post game handshake, with on field reports that the short exchange was marked with Mora using an expletive to mark his dissatisfaction with K-State’s defense as time was expiring.