K-State relied on explosive plays in the first half, but it was classic K-State football that won Texas Bowl XI in the second half, tying the all-time series between the Wildcats and Texas A&M at 8-8.
Texas A&M marched down the field for a touchdown to start the game, but K-State hit back with a 79-yard touchdown reception for Byron Pringle later in the first quarter. The Wildcats took a lead with a Jesse Ertz rush that featured another of his signature stiffarms. A missed PAT allowed A&M to take a 14-13 lead on another long drive, but an Ian Patterson field goal and 52-yard jet sweep by Dominique Heath sent K-State into the locker room up 23-14 at halftime.
K-State couldn’t score to open the second half, and the Aggies cut the Wildcats’ lead to 23-21 with their third touchdown drive of 75 yards or more. K-State answered with a field goal to extend the lead to 26-21, where the score stood to end the third quarter. A&M missed a field goal short, and the Wildcats put together a touchdown drive in response that included two 20-yard Ertz rushes, ending with a 1-yard touchdown by Ertz on a rugby scrum early in the fourth quarter. Trevor Knight and his receivers put together 75-yard TD drive to cut the lead to five with just under eight minutes to play.
K-State’s offense posted a three-and-out, giving the ball back to A&M with six and a half minutes left in the game, but K-State’s defense held on on fourth-and-8 with about 2 minutes left. An 11-yard run by Ertz on second-and-10 sealed K-State’s first bowl win since the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Michigan in 2013.
We’ll have a more in-depth analysis later.