The only thing colder than the celebratory Gatorade dumped on K-State (5-4 Big 12, 8-5) head coach Bill Snyder was the walk back to the locker room for the Michigan Wolverines (3-5, 7-6) after their 31-14 loss at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday.
With no scoring in the second or third quarters, one touchdown and only 65 rushing yards, the Wolverines presence was almost non-existent apart from a noteworthy performance by back-up quarterback Shane Morris. Morris was 24 of 38 with 196 yards in the game, averaging 5.2 yards per pass, a significant decrease from starting quarterback Devin Gardner’s 8.58 average. Gardner was out of commission with a turf toe injury.
Morris, who had only had nine passes in the season prior to this game, was 15 of 19 for 121 yards in the first half. but by and large, the Wolverine’s biggest downfall was its inability to convert on drives.
K-State, on the other hand, came in firing on all cylinders, aided by the return of defensive back, Ty Zimmerman, back from an ankle injury sustained earlier in the season. K-State quarterback, Jake Waters also looked good, with 21 of 27 completed passes for a total 271 yards and three touchdown passes to star receiver, Tyler Lockett.
Lockett was up to his standard level play with a record setting ten receptions for 116 yards, while teammate Tremaine Thompson contributed 4 receptions for 56 yards of his own.
The Wolverines, unable to execute against the fierce Wildcat defense, were limited to one field goal apiece in the first and second quarters. It wouldn’t be until 1:15 left in the fourth quarter that Michigan would finally see the end zone.
In its opening drive, the Wildcats would churn out 75 yards in 15 plays, setting the tone for the rest of the game. For K-State, it was business as usual in terms of possession time, keeping the ball for almost a full ten minutes more than the Wolverines, for a total 35:04 overall.
After being up 21-6 at the half, both teams slowed until the Wildcats posted up on the boards with a 22-yard field goal from Ian Anderson and a rushing touchdown from running back, John Hubert, in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats celebrate their 11th bowl game win as a team and Bill Snyder’s seventh bowl win as head coach.