Tyler Lockett’s Kansas State bowl-record 10 catches for 116 yards and three first half touchdowns led the Wildcats to a 31-14 thrashing of Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium.
It is Kansas State’s first bowl win since the 2002 Holiday Bowl against Arizona State. Tonight’s win came on Arizona State’s home field.
K-State opened strong on offense. Mixing the run and the pass effectively, the Wildcats took the early 7-0 lead on a six-yard touchdown pass from Jake Waters to Lockett. It capped an impressive 14-play, 75-yard drive which took just over half of the first quarter to complete.
Michigan was poised to answer, as the Wolverines quickly marched into the KSU red zone. However, the Cats broke up two passes, forcing Michigan to settle for a Matt Wile field goal, trailing 7-3.
KSU quickly answered back. Lockett’s kick return set the Cats up at their own 40, and five plays later, Lockett scored again on a 29-yard pass from Waters for a 14-3 lead.
Michigan would embark on its own long drive, going 15 plays and taking over eight minutes off the clock, but were limited to a 26-yard field goal by Wile to trail 14-6.
The Cats went right back down the field. Waters hit Gronkowski to set up the Cats in the red zone, where Waters found Lockett for an 8-yard touchdown on a diving catch. The KSU defense would hold, and the Cats led 21-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter, K-State would miss a pair of opportunities. Ian Patterson missed a 40 yard field goal, leaving the Wildcats empty handed on a seven minute drive. Later, Lockett dropped a potential touchdown pass from Daniel Sams. On the next play, Sams fumbled, and Michigan recovered.
However, the KSU defense, limited Michigan’s offense to just 20 yards in the quarter. KSU led 21-6 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats put the game away. Patterson added a 22-yard field goal, and following an interception by Dante Barnett, the Cats put the exclamation point on the win with a 1 yard run by John Hubert. Michigan added a late touchdown by Fitzgerald Toussaint for the final margin.
Lockett was named the bowl’s offensive outstanding player after picking up 10 catches for 116 yards and three first-half touchdowns. Waters was 21-for-27 passing for 271 yards and three touchdowns.
Michigan freshman quarterback Shane Morris was 24-for-38 passing for 196 yards and an interception. Morris filled in for typical starter Devin Gardner, who was out with a toe injury.
K-State outgained Michigan 420 yards to 261. Michigan was limited to 65 rushing yards, with 40 coming on a late run by Morris.
K-State finishes the year 8-5 after starting 2-4, while Michigan finishes 7-6.
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