Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Lockett Away

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Lockett Away

Article excerpt

SAN ANTONIO -- There had been some wild finishes in college football bowl games, and the Kansas State Wildcats took notice and thought, "Why not us?"

There also had been some negative comments by television announcers during some games, which the Wildcats heard and thought, "That's not us."

Down but not out was coach Bill Snyder's message to his team when facing a 31-6 halftime deficit to UCLA in the Alamo Bowl on Friday. K-State came close but couldn't pull off a stunning comeback, but it also didn't quit in a 40-35 loss to the Bruins.

"Houston was down (Friday) 27 points going into the fourth quarter and scored 29 and won the ballgame so it's doable, it's manageable," Snyder related about his halftime talk to the Wildcats. "We heard a TV announcer indicate in another ballgame that a football team had quit, and that's the last thing in the world anybody wants to hear on national TV, I assure you of that.

"I reminded our youngsters of that, that we weren't about to let somebody say that about us. And they didn't. They didn't. They made the best effort."

The Wildcats were their own worst enemy in the first half with turnovers, penalties and execution errors. Snyder estimated they left 28 points on the field due to their mistakes on offense, defense and special teams but cleaned up their act to outscore the Bruins 15-3 in the third quarter and get back in contention.

"I'm never going to count out my guys," quarterback Jake Waters said. "We go into halftime and we've just got to correct the mistakes. We made a few plays here and there and we were right back in it. We had a chance to win it at the end and that's all you can ask for."

K-State finished the season with a 9-4 record and a third-place finish in the Big 12 Conference. As is the case each year, some key figures must be replaced and this time the offense will be hard-hit with the loss of receivers Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton, center B.J. Finney and Waters while the defense will have to replace mainstays such as defensive end Ryan Mueller, linebacker Jonathan Truman and defensive back Randall Evans. …

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