San Antonio, Texas may be known as the Alamo City to some but for K-State fans, players and coaches the city has be the sight of heartbreaking losses.
Now the Wildcats, who are 1-0 on the season, travel back to the very place that ended their season less than nine months ago, San Antonio’s Alamodome, a place that’s been a house of horrors for the program.
In 1998, the Kansas State football program was fresh off one of the most devastating defeats in college football history as they were defeated by Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship Game. Although they were highly ranked at the time they were not selected among the at-large teams to play in a BCS bowl. Instead, they were sent to the Alamo Bowl against Big Ten opponent Purdue.
A game in which the Wildcats struggled to maintain the fire that had brought them to the top of the polls culminated in a late touchdown by Drew Brees to Isaac Jones with 30 seconds left giving the Boilermakers a 37-34 upset victory.
Head coach Bill Snyder remarked about the disappointment felt from the Wildcats and supporters following the game.
“I feel for every player in that (locker) room, every coach and every Kansas State fan that showed up here in San Antonio,” Snyder said. “Tonight was the culmination of three weeks of disappointment.”
A little over nine months ago, the Wildcats ventured back to the Alamodome to face the UCLA Bruins in the same venue and same bowl game. This time, it also included the same result, a 40-35 win by UCLA that saw the Wildcats climb out of a 31-6 hole but fell short of getting their first victory in San Antonio.
Now the Wildcats have to exorcise demons that have festered for more than 17 years and will have a quarterback making his first ever career start at any level.
The UTSA Roadrunners come off of a high octane showdown against the Arizona where they opened the season with a 42-32 loss.
Although the Wildcats have never won in the Alamodome, that doesn’t take away the confidence and eagerness they have coming into Saturday’s match up.
“From a team standpoint, to go back to the Alamodome would be big for us especially because the last time we were there we lost,” K-State kicker Matthew McCrane said during Tuesday’s media briefing.
The Wildcats will be relying on many of their veterans who aren’t worried about the challenges that this weeks game presents.
“You can’t think about those distractions obviously,” wideout Kody Cook said after Saturday’s game against South Dakota. “You’ve just got to treat it like any other game, you prepare for them like any other team. They’re fast and we’ll be ready for them. You really can’t think about distractions or the past history, you just have to be ready to play a great opponent.”