The No. 11-ranked Kansas State Wildcat football team’s regular season came to a disappointing end Saturday night after a 38-27 loss to the No. 5-ranked Baylor Bears.
It was the second time in three years that the Wildcats have seen their postseason hopes come to an abrupt end in Waco.
Three years ago, K-State entered the game with a national title game hopes on the line, but, this time, it was a share of the conference championship riding on the win.
Baylor’s offense picked apart the Wildcat defense to claim a share of the Big 12 championship with TCU.
The Wildcat defense got burned for 412 yards passing.
Now to turn the page, because of TCU or Baylor not being picked for the first ever College Football Playoffs, K-State slipped all the way down to the Alamo Bowl instead of going to either the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl or Peach Bowl.
Kansas State will face UCLA at 5:45 P.M. Central Time on Jan. 2, 2015 in the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome. The game will be televised by ESPN.
The Wildcats have played in the Alamo Bowl once before, falling to a Drew Brees-led Purdue team 37-34 in 1998.
The UCLA Bruins finished second in the PAC-12 South division after a 9-3 season.
The Bruins’ three losses came to Utah, Arizona and Stanford – all at home. Not to mention, UCLA escaped the state of Texas with a 20-17 win over the Longhorns – the same team K-State beat 23-0.
This is a good match up for the Wildcats.
Yes, they have scored a lot of points over the course of the season (62 on Arizona State, 36 to California, 40 on Colorado, 44 on Washington and 38 on USC), but they’ve given up a lot too (35 to Memphis, 42 to Oregon, 37 to Colorado and 31 to Stanford).
Offensively, UCLA gains 468 yards per game, which ranks 23rd in the nation. The Wildcats rank 50th at 426 yards per game.
Defensively, UCLA allows 243.3 yards per game, which ranks 89th, while K-State allows 236.8 yards, which ranks 81st.
Keys to victory for K-State
The keys are are the same for K-State every game: Win the turnover battle, dominate the time of possession and limit the penalties.
If the Wildcats can do that, Kansas State will end the season victorious with another 10-win season under the leadership of Bill Snyder.
K-State defeats UCLA 35-28 in a back-and-forth battle.