Kansas State moved methodically down the field on its opening possession and that drive turned out to be a sign of things to come with the Wildcats knocking off Michigan 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
The Wildcats used 14 plays to drive 75 yards for a touchdown to open the game, eating up more than half of the first quarter. KSU added another first quarter touchdown to go up 14-3. The Wildcats held the ball for more than 10:30 in the opening quarter.
Michigan was able to mount some impressive drives of its own early on, including a 15-play drive in the second quarter. The problem for the Wolverines was they came away with field goals on their first two drives while the Wildcats opened the game with three straight touchdown drives. Michigan quarterback Shane Morris made his first start, playing in place of the injured Devin Gardner. The Wolverines did their best to help Morris, emptying the playbook and using a variety of handoffs, reverses and trick plays. Morris played well in the first half, completing 15-of-19 passes for 121 yards.
While the offenses found some success early on, both teams had issues in the second half. Michigan struggled to move the ball, punting on five straight drives at one point. The Wildcats moved the ball better, but a missed field goal and a fumble kept the Wildcats from really lighting up the scoreboard.
Jake Waters was excellent for the Wildcats. He completed 21-of-27 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns went to Tyler Lockett who hauled in 10 passes for 116 yards. He could have had a fourth score, but dropped a would-be touchdown.
After playing a solid first half, Morris struggled in the second half, along with the rest of the Michigan offense. He finished the game 24-of-38 for 196 yards and a fourth quarter interception.
The win snaps Kansas State's five-game bowl losing streak.
Box Score Hero: Waters led the way finishing with 313 total yards. He was extremely efficient through the air, averaging 10 yards per attempt. He ran for five first downs.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team will be ranked after this.
But Did They Cover? Kansas State was a 7-point favorite at kickoff and covered easily.