Kansas State and UCLA took different approaches in how they carried themselves in the week leading up to Friday’s Alamo Bowl.
The Wildcats were somber and serious at several public appearances – suits and ties, clean-cut, not a lot of humor to go around. Interviews were polite, but everyone stuck to the company line.
The Bruins were the exact opposite.
Players and coaches showed up in Alamo Bowl-issued track suits – which UCLA running back Paul Perkins called “pretty fresh” – and joked with media and bowl personnel.
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Linebacker Myles Jack, who had a first-half interception and return to set up a touchdown, was asked during a news conference if he was looking forward to eating some of San Antonio’s famed Mexican food and responded that “sounded good, but I’ve been eating at Hooters a lot lately. Last two days, actually.”
UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich laughed, then told Jack maybe shouldn’t have said that.
Jack looked out over a room full of reporters and smiled.
“Strike that, OK you guys?”
Looks like the California-cool approach did the trick.
Finney on the move – Three-time All-Big 12 center and Andale product B.J. Finney was the solution to K-State’s struggles on the offensive line in the second half.
After giving up a fifth sack of Jake Waters, Finney moved to right tackle in place of Matt Kleinsorge and Drew Liddle stepped in at center. Trailing 31-6, the Wildcats promptly reeled off 15 unanswered points to get back in the game. Finney gave up one sack in the second half to UCLA’s Deon Holllins.
In an interesting twist, Finney started the first half of the first game of his freshman year, on Sept. 3, 2011 against Eastern Kentucky, at right guard and moved to a different position, center, in the second half.
Two in a row — Two Kansas State fans disrupted the Alamo Bowl with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter by running on the field. The odd thing was that they weren’t together.
The first fan ran the length of the field, holding a K-State flag, picked up a penalty flag a referee had just thrown, threw it back at the referee and then laid on the ground and mimicked swimming before he was arrested.
As soon as that fan was taking off the field by police, another K-State fan came on and led fans in the “K-S-U” chant, contorting his body to the letters before he was arrested.
UCLA linebacker and Butkus Award winner Eric Kendricks had to be held back by his coaches from going after the first fan.
Historic run — Perkins led the Pac-12 in rushing this season, and capped his season with 194 yards against K-State, giving him 1,575. That’s good enough for second place on the Bruins’ single-season history, and his 1,776 all-purpose yards are sixth in school history.
Dynamic duo — Curry Sexton and Tyler Lockett became Kansas State’s first receiver duo to top 1,000 yards in the same season at the Alamo Bowl.
By catching 10 passes for 104 yards, Sexton finished his senior season with 1,059 yards. Lockett caught 13 passes for 164 yards to finish his final season with 1,515 yards.
Injured Cat — Boston Stiverson suffered a fracture to his lower leg in the fourth quarter, Snyder said. The offensive lineman out of Andover Central High was helped off the field in a cart, but gave the thumbs-up to the crowd as he was being taken off.