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Liberty Bowl: Arkansas 45, Kansas State 23

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A miserable season ends with a miserable repeat of prior misery.

Alex Collins: respect. Man can run.
Alex Collins: respect. Man can run.
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

A season that started, literally, with disaster ended in much the same fashion this afternoon at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. as the Kansas State Wildcats were obliterated 45-23 by the Arkansas Razorbacks.

After an Elijah Lee interception on the first possession led to a 10-yard Winston Dimel touchdown, Arkansas responded immediately with a six-play drive ending in a 22-yard Alex Collins score. K-State answered with a field goal, but three plays later Arkansas had the lead and never looked back.

Collins ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns, while Brandon Allen threw for 315 and one score. The Wildcats only managed 79 yards on the ground, which was only six more than they had at the half. Kody Cook was 12-24 for 163 and one touchdown, that on a 48-yard pop pass to Dimel on the second half's opening drive which closed the margin to 24-20. They would never get any closer, as Arkansas simply manhandled the Cats over the final 28 minutes. Indeed, Matt McCrane's third field goal, a 32-yarder on the next possession, was all Kansas State would muster before succumbing.

We'd like to take a moment to express our thoughts and prayers for Arkansas receiver Dominique Reed, who left the field on a stretcher after being hit by Sean Newlan. Doc Harper reports that Reed was moving and speaking in the ambulance, which is a good sign.

Justin Ford - USA Today Sports

The game was exemplary of the season as a whole. A lack of quality play at quarterback, receivers who were unable to catch the ball, and a defense that simply could not get stops when they needed them; three things which plagued Kansas State throughout this long and dismal season.

There were bright spots to be found, however. Zach Reuter caught three passes, doubling the freshman's production on the year. Dalvin Warmack finally saw some action and produced a little. But more than anything, the story of the game was what wasn't on the field. Duke Shelley, out with mononucleosis. Will Geary, not even in Memphis. All those redshirting players who the coaching staff gushed over during bowl preparation, none of whom were going to see the field today for obvious reasons.

Was this just a lost season from the opening play of the opening drive? Perhaps. Perhaps patience is the key, and 2016 will be something special with new talent entering the rotation. Or perhaps there's an organizational problem here, one which can only be resolved with major changes.

We don't know. We'll just have to see what happens. We've now got an entire offseason to discuss it, after all.

Goodbye, 2015 Wildcats. You won't be forgotten, and in time at least some of this season's antics will be looked on fondly by those who lived through it. For those who didn't, it will simply be remembered as that really horrible year when everything was terrible.

And now, we (mostly) turn the site over for the next month to Eric. Hopefully he won't suffer through January the way the rest of us have through the fall.