#11 Kansas State vs. #14 UCLA
The first Top 15 match-up in Valero Alamo Bowl history promises big things as Kansas State and UCLA deliver:
- #11 vs. #14
- 9-3 vs. 9-3
- 36 points per game vs. 33 points game
- A Hall-of-Fame Coach vs. A Record-Setting Coach
- An all-time leading receiver vs. an all-time leader in total offense
- Two star quarterbacks playing in their last college games.
It’ll be a race to a 10 in this Friday Night Lights showdown January 2 as the bowl champion will finish with a 10 win season and a likely Top 10 final ranking.
Valero Alamo Bowl: Tickets start at $25 and are available through the bowl’s website, Ticketmaster.com, the Alamodome’s Southwest Box Office (Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for city holidays) as well as Kansas State’s Bowl Headquarters section of their website and UCLA’s Bowl Central section.
What Others Are Saying About The Match-Up
Dr. Saturday/Yahoo Sports: “The best non-New Year’s Six bowl is the Alamo. It’ll be fun to see what Bill Snyder has designed for UCLA QB Brett Hundley and the UCLA offense. And will UCLA have an answer for the combination of Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett? The winner of the game gets to 10 wins for the second-consecutive season too.”
Mark Schlabach/ESPN.com: The #6 best bowl game “figures to be quarterback Brett Hundley’s last game in a Bruins uniform, as the junior is expected to enter the 2015 NFL draft. Wildcats quarterback Jake Waters also will be playing in his final college contest. Both teams lost their final regular-season game, so both will be motivated to finish on a winning note.”
Stewart Mandel/Fox Sports: The Valero Alamo Bowl is one of “five games you shouldn’t miss…The Wildcats aren’t splashy, but they’re fun to watch. QB Jake Waters doesn’t have nearly the athleticism of counterpart Brett Hundley, but he zips some darts in there.”
Tom Fornelli/CBS Sports: Ranked as #5 match-up among the 38 bowl games, Tom writes: “I am very intrigued by this game. Kansas State had a very nice 9-3 season, but its three losses came against Auburn, TCU and Baylor. Can it finally pick up a win against one of the best teams in the country? As for UCLA, it’s been a confusing team all season, but when it shows up to play it’s very good. I hope both of these teams show up in this game, because if they do it’s going to be good.”
Kevin Lyttle/Austin-American Statesmen: “The best non-New Year’s Six game is the Alamo’s first top-15 matchup. It features Bruins QB Brett Hundley and Wildcats WR/KR Tyler Lockett. Hundley completed 70.4 percent of his passes and is UCLA’s all-time leader in total offense and TD passes. Lockett had 93 grabs for 1,351 yards.”
Bill Bender/Sporting News: “Kansas State vs. UCLA in the Valero Alamo Bowl. This could be like that 67-56 Baylor-Washington shootout in 2011”
Kansas State University and UCLA accepted invitations on Sunday to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl on January 2, 2015 at 5:45 p.m. CST in San Antonio’s 65,000-seat Alamodome.
#11 Kansas State is led by Head Coach Bill Snyder. This was Snyder’s 23rd season at the helm for Kansas State Football. K-State, who will be making their fifth straight bowl appearance, last played in the Valero Alamo Bowl in 1998. The Wildcats finished the regular season 9-3 (7-2 Big 12), marking the fourth time in the past five years they have finished third or better in the conference standings.
“We are proud of the young men in our program and very pleased to represent the Big 12 Conference in the Valero Alamo Bowl,” said Snyder. “Our team still has a chance to accomplish something special this season and finish the year with 10 victories. The Alamo Bowl is a first-class bowl organization and we appreciate Derrick Fox and the entire bowl staff for their efforts and support of college football.”
The K-State offense, averaging 35.8 points per game, is highlighted by senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett and senior quarterback Jake Waters. Lockett, an All-Big 12 performer and All-American candidate, is the all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in Kansas State history. Waters has thrown for 3,163 yards and 20 touchdowns on the year, and has added 471 yards and eight scores on the ground. Jonathan Truman, a former walk-on, leads the Wildcats’ defense has recorded six games with 10 or more tackles.
Head Coach Jim Mora will lead the #14 Bruins to the Alamo Bowl for the first time in school history and to their fourth straight bowl appearance. UCLA finished the regular season 9-3 (6-3 Pac-12) making this the third straight year they have finished with at least nine wins, a program record.
UCLA’s offense, averaging 32.9 points per game, is led by redshirt junior quarterback Brett Hundley. Hundley is UCLA’s all-time leader in total offense and touchdown passes, and became the first Bruin to throw for more than 3,000 yards in three different seasons. On the year, Hundley has thrown for 3,019 yards and 21 touchdowns while completing 69.6% of his passes, the fourth-best mark in the nation. Redshirt senior linebacker Eric Kendricks, the schools all-time leading tackler, anchors the UCLA defense and his 139 total tackles this season rank eighth on UCLA’s single-season list.
“It is an honor to be a participant in the Valero Alamo Bowl,” said UCLA head football coach Jim Mora. “Our players know that when you play in a bowl of this magnitude, the nation is watching. When you consider that the Valero Alamo Bowl has produced a number of the most-watched non-BCS Bowl Games, we can’t wait to get on the field at the Alamodome, compete every down against a tremendous Kansas State team and fight for our second consecutive 10-win season.”
The 2015 Valero Alamo Bowl will be the third all-time meeting between Kansas State and UCLA, with each team claiming one win. The two schools last met in 2010 with K-State winning 31-22 in Manhattan, while UCLA’s 23-9 victory against K-State came at home.
This year’s Valero Alamo Bowl will be Kansas State’s second Alamo Bowl appearance. The Wildcats lost 37-34 to Purdue in 1998. UCLA has never played in San Antonio.
To view the comments from both head coaches at their first two press conferences (December 7 and December 11), please click here.
Kansas State Notes
- Kansas State finished 9-3 overall, 7-2 in the Big 12 Conference.
- The Wildcats finished third or better in the Big 12 Conference for the fourth time in five years.
- Senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett is the school leader in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
- Senior quarterback Jake Waters has thrown for more than 200 yards in 12 consecutive games. The longest such streak for a Bill Snyder-coached quarterback.
- Kansas State has gone to 11 straight bowl games under head coach Bill Snyder.
- UCLA finished 9-3 overall, 6-3 in the Pac-12 Conference.
- The Bruins were 6-0 on the road this season and were the only FBS team to beat two FBS opponents in non-conference play.
- This is the fifth straight season in which UCLA has played a game in the state of Texas –2014 – Arlington, TX win over Texas; 2013 Sun Bowl win over Virginia Tech; 2012 win at Rice; 2011 loss at Houston; 2010 win at Texas.
- Jim Mora is the first coach to lead UCLA to at least nine wins in three straight seasons.
- Redshirt junior quarterback Brett Hundley is UCLA’s all-time leader in total offense and touchdown passes, and became the first Bruin to throw for more than 3,000 yards in three different seasons.
- Redshirt senior linebacker Eric Kendricks leads the Pac-12 in solo tackles (8.1 per game) and total tackles (11.6 per game). He is this year’s winner of the Butkus Award.
- Redshirt sophomore running back Paul Perkins has rushed for 1,381 yards on the season, which is good for sixth on UCLA’s single-season rushing list.
- Junior wide receiver Jordan Payton has 63 receptions this season, which is eighth on UCLA’s single-season list, and has caught a pass in 15 straight games.
Valero Alamo Bowl Notes
- This year’s game features the best collective ranking (25) and first Top 15 match-up in bowl history. It is also the sixth Top 25 match-up in the Valero Alamo Bowl’s 22 year history. The previous best combined ranking was 27(#8 Nebraska against #19 Northwestern in 2000).
- The winner of this year’s game should be the third Valero Alamo Bowl team to finish the season in the Top 10. The other two were Nebraska in 2000 and Oregon in 2013.
- UCLA is the home team this year and will occupy the east sideline. The Bruins will wear white jerseys and Kansas State will wear purple jerseys. For the season, the Bruins were 5-0 wearing their white jerseys (they wore blue in their neutral site game in Dallas against Texas).
- Both head coaches have one game of Alamodome experience under their belts. Kansas State’s Bill Snyder coached in the Wildcats a 37-34 loss to Purdue in the 1998 Builders Square Alamo Bowl. UCLA’s Jim Mora was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons teams that beat the New Orleans Saints 34-31 in 2005 during their Hurricane Katrina season.
- The coach is the most Alamo Bowl experience is Kansas State Linebackers Coach Mike Cox who was on the Michigan State staff that coached in the 2003 MasterCard Alamo Bowl and the Washington staff from the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl.
- Starting this game through the 2019 season, the Valero Alamo Bowl will match the #1 teams from the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences after the CFP selections.
- The Valero Alamo Bowl has sold out six of the last eight games and has produced seven of the Top 20 Most-Watched Non-BCS Bowl Games in ESPN history.
- This year’s game is the second January game date in bowl history. Texas Tech beat Michigan State 41-31 on Saturday, January 2, 2010 in front of a sellout crowd of 64,757. The game was also the most-watched in bowl history with 7.8 million viewers.
- This year’s game features two mobile quarterbacks. The top two rushing quarterbacks in Valero Alamo Bowl history are Oregon’s Marcus Mariota (133 yards in 2013) and Nebraska’s Eric Crouch (118 yards in 2000). Both signal callers won Heisman trophies the year after their team’s Valero Alamo Bowl wins.
- Kansas State’s Darnell McDonald caught the longest touchdown pass in bowl history (88 yards in 1998). It was one of 3 touchdowns passes from Michael Bishop who is tied for second on the bowl’s all-time list behind Washington’s Keith Price who threw four touchdowns in 2011