K-State rolls in BWW Bowl
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) —
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder saw what was coming and tried to avoid
it, racing 20 yards down the sideline and out onto the field.
as he might be, the 74-year-old coach was no match for players young
enough to be his grandchildren, turning just in time to take the full
icy brunt of defensive end Ryan Mueller dumping a water bucket over his
"I did (see it), but I'm too old to get out of the way," Snyder said.
He's certainly not too old to win bowl games.
architect of one of college football's biggest turnarounds during his
first stint at Kansas State, Snyder and his Wildcats won their first
bowl game in 11 years by rolling over Michigan 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday night.
Waters threw for 271 yards and connected with record-breaking receiver
Tyler Lockett on three scores, helping Kansas State (8-5) end a
five-game bowl losing streak.
"Nobody on the team won a bowl
game," Lockett said. "It has been 11 years, (like) 4,018 games. We
wanted to send the seniors out with a great win in a Kansas State
The Wildcats surged at the end of the season and were
unstoppable early against Michigan (7-6), scoring on their first three
possessions behind Lockett and Waters.
Lockett set a school record
with 10 catches for 116 yards and tied the Kansas State bowl record
with his three TDs. Waters was efficient in leading Kansas State's
offense, completing 21 of 27 passes and running for 42 yards.
Wildcats' defense dominated most of the night, holding Michigan to 261
total yards — 82 of that on a final scoring drive in the fourth quarter
with the game out of reach.
"To win the way we did it put a nice
little cap to our season," Waters said. "The journey we have been
through, to end like this is special."
Freshman quarterback Shane
Morris was steady in place of injured starter Devin Gardner, leading
Michigan on two early scoring drives. The Wolverines settled for field
goals on both and did little the rest of the way.
Morris threw for
196 yards on 24-of-38 passing with an interception. Michigan's run game
didn't give him much support, particularly early, and finished with 65
yards on 15 carries.
Michigan's defense also had trouble stopping
Kansas State most of the night, giving up 420 total yards in the
Wolverines' second straight bowl loss.
"We didn't play well enough in a lot of areas," coach Brady Hoke said.
State finished the season strong after some early difficulties —
starting with a home loss to FCS opponent North Dakota State. The
Wildcats won five of their final six games while scoring at least 31
points in each.
Michigan limped to the finish after a 5-0 start,
losing five of its final seven games and Gardner along the way. The
redshirt junior injured his toe in the regular-season finale against
Ohio State and didn't recover in time for the bowl game, leaving the
Wolverines in the hands of Morris.
The freshman hasn't played much
over the past year, limited to four games as a high school senior due
to mononucleosis and to nine pass attempts as Gardner's backup this
Morris didn't seem to mind being thrust into the spotlight
as the first Michigan quarterback to make his first career start in a
bowl game. He was helped by a conservative game plan filled with short
throws early and started unleashing his big left arm by Michigan's
second drive, completing 15 of 19 passes for 121 yards in the first
"You would have thought he was doing it five years now," Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan said.
The problem for the Wolverines was they couldn't finish off drives, settling for field goals of 22 and 26 yards by Matt Wile.
was good for Wile, who made one field goal all season, but not for
Michigan because its defense couldn't stop the Wildcats — particularly
the Waters-to-Lockett combination.
Kansas State set the tone on
its opening drive, grinding out 75 yards in 15 plays and 7:51 off the
clock. Lockett capped it with a 6-yard touchdown catch after the
Wildcats' line gave Waters just enough time to get the throw off against
Lockett set up the next drive with a 40-yard
kickoff return and capped it with a 29-yard touchdown catch, set up by
Waters' pump fake that gave him separation behind Michigan's defense.
State raced down the field again on its next drive, setting up
Lockett's third touchdown, an 8-yarder from Waters that put the Wildcats
up 21-6 at halftime.
"We wanted to get a fast start and we did," Lockett said. "We got on top of them early and that helped us out."
The Wildcats bogged down in the second half, but so did the Wolverines.
had 23 total yards in the third quarter and failed to capitalize on the
game's first turnover — a fumble by Daniel Sams — by going
Kansas State's Ian Anderson hit a 22-yard field
goal in the fourth quarter, John Hubert scored on a 1-yard run after
Morris' interception and the Wildcats celebrated Snyder's seventh bowl
victory by chasing him down the sideline for the water-bucket dump.