Alamo Bowl – Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
Friday, January 2, 2015 @ 12:00 PM EST (ESPN)
#11 Kansas State Wildcats (9-3, Big 12) vs #14 UCLA Bruins (9-3, Pac-12)
Current Line: UCLA -1.5, O/U: 59.0
Kansas State Wildcats (Head Coach Bill Snyder): In the last game of the regular NCAA bowl season between two ranked opponents, the Wildcats will look to take out its frustration over not receiving a better bowl bid on the UCLA Bruins. This was a fine Wildcats team that had the misfortune of running into the likes of #5 Baylor and #6 TCU when they had losses. If they had just beaten #19 Auburn earlier in the season, they might have gotten the bowl bids they wanted.
Coach Snyder does a great job year-after-year putting solid, focused teams on the field. This edition of the Wildcats was able to avoid turnovers (11) and penalties (51), which made the offense seem better than is was statistically. The passing combination of Sr QB Jake Waters (3,163 yards and 20 TDs passing) and All-American Sr WR Tyler Lockett (1,351 yards receiving and 9 TDS plus 2 TDs on punt returns) was enough to keep good defenses playing back on its heels all season long.
Kansas State is 7-0 ATS when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) over the last 3 seasons. Kansas State is 39-23 over versus good offensive teams – averaging >=5.9 yards/play since 1992.
UCLA Bruins (Head Coach Jim Mora): After a 4-0 start that included a blowout victory 62-27 over #15 Arizona State, the Bruins looked like they were ready to live up to the potential they promised last season. However, two mid-season losses to #22 Utah and #3 Oregon derailed any National Championship hopes the Bruins may have had, landing them here in San Antonio.
The UCLA Bruins could best be characterized as solid, not spectacular, on both side of the ball. The offense racked up 467.9 YPG behind the play of the very talented Jt QB Brett Hundley (headed for NFL) who threw for 3,019 yards and 21 TDs while also running the ball for 548 yards and 8 TDs. Soph RB Paul Perkins had a great year (1,381 yards and 7 TDs), which went a long way in keeping defenses honest. The defense relied heavily on All-American Sr LB Eric Kendricks who also had a great season with 139 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 INTS.
UCLA is 10-2 ATS when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) over the last 3 seasons. UCLA is 4-14 ATS in road games versus excellent offensive teams – averaging >=6.25 yards/play since 1992.
Major Injuries: None to Report
Preview: As far as match-ups are concerned, this game looks as good as any of the New Years Day games. The Wildcats are little better at playing under control while the Bruins may have an advantage in talent. After announcing he would make himself eligible for the NFL draft, Hundley will look to cap off a sterling 3-year career at UCLA with a big performance. With all the other big games already played, fans can sit back and enjoy this one without flipping channels. This is shaping up to be one of the best bowl games this season. Tough to go against Bill Snyder and what he gets out of his players. Kansas State will get the straight-up win.