class="post-template-default single single-post postid-280264 single-format-standard group-blog masthead-fixed full-width singular wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.5 vc_responsive"
K-State Plays In Cactus Bowl Tonight | Rural Radio Network

K-State Plays In Cactus Bowl Tonight

K-State Plays In Cactus Bowl Tonight

The Kansas State Wildcats (7-5) won four of their last five games of the regular season, including two double-digit comebacks and will play against UCLA (6-6) in tonight’s Cactus Bowl at 8 p.m. (CT), however, K-State knows it cannot count on conjuring up late-game magic. “We put a great deal of emphasis on being able to finish. Finishing a play well, finishing a day well, finishing a practice well, finishing a week well, doing everything that we can do to finish ballgames well and certainly finish the season well,” K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. “I just need to put more emphasis on getting started. That’s part of the dialogue right now, is we need to be able to start this ballgame well.” Some Wildcats, such as senior linebacker Trent Tanking, were at the 2015 Alamo Bowl against the Bruins and remember how a slow start kept them from clinching a season-ending victory. K-State fell behind 31-6 by halftime before outscoring UCLA 29-9 in the second half, but it was not enough. “We came out and they just punched us in the mouth,” Tanking recalled. “It was just a fight-or-die mentality at halftime. We came out and fought back. We just know that UCLA is a great team and they’re going to come out ready to go, so we have to come out and match that.”

This season, K-State has outscored its opponents 226-144 in the first half, bolstered by a 148-73 advantage in the second quarter alone. To cap off an adversity-filled season, littered with key injuries and close losses, the Wildcats seek a complete performance. “Obviously if we play consistently and then finish well, we’ll have our marbles together, so to speak, but I was proud of them for being able to come back when things had not gone well,” Snyder said, referring to K-State’s four losses by seven or fewer points this season. “Those were not easy to take, quite obviously, and I was proud of the young people in our program for being able to respond to that.” At one point this season, the Wildcats dropped three games in a row. A double-overtime loss to Texas, in senior quarterback Jesse Ertz’s last game, was followed by a 26-6 loss to then-No. 6 TCU. Next came a heart-breaking 42-35 loss to Oklahoma, one of four teams in this season’s College Football Playoff. From there, the Wildcats rattled off wins at Kansas, at Texas Tech and at Oklahoma State, while also knocking off Iowa State at the last second in the regular-season finale. “We knew we had to come together and face adversity. Even when things got rough, we all just came together. Player reps and captains called meetings to see what the right thing was for us to do. We knew we weren’t going to give up,” junior receiver Byron Pringle said. “We were going to fight through it. Everybody was going to come together. Everybody was going to dominate their position, not worry about other positions, and just focus on what they need to do to contribute and make the team much better.”

© 2018 Nebraska Rural Radio Association. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information
Share:
Comments