There is nothing better to me than college football bowl games to bring in the new year. This year is even more exciting because it is the first year of a college football playoff…even though it is only a four team playoff, but that is another topic for another article. This year I am lucky enough as a fan to be able to watch my team play in a bowl after the new year.
I’m heading down to San Antonio tomorrow to cheer on the Cats as they beat UCLA. This is the first Alamo Bowl with two top 15 matchups. On paper both of these teams are pretty even. Both have a 9-3 record and are pretty evenly matched on offense and defense with the exception of a few players. I have read that this is K-States game to lose because UCLA’s secondary won’t be up to the task of slowing down Waters and Lockett. But the one thing that UCLA can do to beat the cats is force the cats into a running game. I think this will come down to who is more prepared mentally. This will have a lot to do coaching wise. Mora is a great coach, but I think Snyder will have them more prepared.
The Waters and Lockett dynamic needs to start early for them to win this game. If our offense doesn’t produce early then we will not win this game. Plain and simple. K-State has converted 88% in the red-zone this year. But UCLA has a 93% conversation rate, so it is necessary for the Cats to keep them out of the red-zone.
We know the key players that can help the Cats win the game. UCLA also has a few keys players that can help them beat the Cats. LB Eric Kendricks, RB Paul Perkins, QB Brett Hundley, and LB/RB Myles Jack. Eric Kendricks is the 2014 Butkus Award winner. He averages 11.6 tackles per game, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, three INTs and two sacks. Paul Perkins hasn’t gotten too much attention because of Hundley but ran for 1,378 yards, 6 yards per carry, 201 receiving yards and 9 TDs this season. K-State has fared much better against the run this year as opposed to the pass so I am hoping we can stop them on Friday. Myles Jack is one of those few players that plays on both sides of the ball. Jack is primarily a linebacker and is ranked second on the team in tackles. He is very good on the goal line and has three touchdowns and averaged 4 yards on his 28 carries for the season. Brett Hundley is UCLA’s all-time leader in total offense and touchdown passes, and became the first Bruin to throw more than 3,000 yards in three different seasons. He has a 70.4 completion percentage, which ranks 4th in the FBS. He is more than likely going to the NFL a year early.
I feel like we can beat UCLA on Friday as long as we are mentally ready to do so. I am nervous I have been to four bowl games and we have lost every one. I’m looking forward to it though and will keep everyone updated on twitter. GO CATS!!!
Editors Note: Follow @CourtMac17 on twitter for all the Alamo Bowl & possibly drunken RV trip updates! GO CATS!