UCLA held off a furious second half rally by Kansas State on Friday night in the Alamo Bowl, as the No. 14 Bruins picked up a 40-35 win over the No. 11 Wildcats in San Antonio at the Alamodome.
UCLA established its dominance early, as quarterback Brett Hundley orchestrated a magnificent opening drive. Hundley scored on a 10-yard run to give UCLA a quick 7-0 lead.
K-State was three-and-out on its opening possession, giving up a sack and allowing Waters little time on his two other pass attempts. It was a theme for much of the night for K-State.
UCLA added a 27-yard field goal from Ka’imi Fairbairn to take a 10-0 lead.
After another KSU punt, UCLA again moved right through the Wildcat defense as Hundley capped a 10-play drive with a 28-yard touchdown run, pushing the UCLA lead to 17-0 with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
K-State started to show signs of life after that. The Wildcats got on the board on the ensuing drive on Matthew McCrane’s 47-yard field goal to make it 17-3.
The KSU defense came up with its first stop, forcing a UCLA three-and-out, and Tyler Lockett set K-State up at the UCLA 15-yard line following a dynamic punt return. However, KSU stalled, and settled for another McCrane field goal, cutting the deficit to 17-6.
UCLA then regained control. After the Bruins went three-and-out, Myles Jack intercepted Jake Waters’ pass at the UCLA 15-yard line. Jack returned the interception all the way to the KSU 44. Three plays later, Paul Perkins scored from 32 yards out to put UCLA up 24-6.
Waters would fumble at the UCLA 47 on the next drive, and Eddie Vanderdoes recovered for UCLA at the Bruin 49. Four plays later, Hundley hit Devin Lucien for a 7-yard touchdown, putting UCLA up 31-6 at the half.
K-State started its rally in the third quarter and made things interesting.
The Wildcats opened the half with a 17-play drive, converting two fourth downs in the red zone, the last of which a three-yard touchdown pass from Waters to Lockett. The two-point conversion, also a pass from Waters to Lockett, made it 31-14.
UCLA would fumble on the next drive, with Dakorey Johnson getting the recovery. K-State would have to convert another fourth down in the red zone to keep the drive alive, but DeMarcus Robinson would later score on a two-yard run to pull KSU within 10 at 31-21.
UCLA answered back with a 44-yard field goal by Fairbairn to take a 34-21 lead after 3 quarters.
In the final frame, K-State would pull within a score. Using a key fourth-down conversion again, K-State then found the end zone on a 1-yard sneak by Waters to pull within six at 34-28 with just under five minutes left.
UCLA then seemed to put the game away on a long touchdown run by Perkins to go up 40-28 after a failed two-point conversion with 2:20 left.
K-State had one last breath, though. The Wildcats orchestrated a quick strike drive, with Waters hitting Lockett for a 29-yard touchdown with 1:21 left, making it 40-35.
The onside kick went into a scrum, and UCLA managed to recover and held on for the win.
Perkins was named outstanding offensive player for UCLA with 194 yards rushing on 20 carries with two touchdowns. Hundley threw for 136 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 96 yards and two scores.
Jake Waters completed 31 of 48 passes for 338 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but was sacked seven times. Tyler Lockett set an Alamo Bowl record with 13 catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Along with Curry Sexton, the duo became the first pair in Alamo Bowl history to catch 10 passes each in a game. Sexton had 10 grabs for 104 yards.
UCLA outgained K-State 467 to 369. K-State had just 31 yards rushing on 32 carries.
K-State ends the season at 9-4, while UCLA is 10-3.
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