HALFTIME: K-State’s rocky start in first half simmers to a UCLA lead, 17-7

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Freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson, prepares to throw the ball during the Cactus bowl game between K-State and UCLA in Phoenix, Arizona on Dec. 26, 2017. (Photo by Cooper Kinley | Collegian Media Group)

The Kansas State Wildcats are currently at halftime in Phoenix, Arizona, where they are losing to the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins.

10 minutes before the kickoff of the game, Sports Illustrated officially announced that UCLA’s quarterback Josh Rosen was out and would not play in the Cactus Bowl. Because of this, backup quarterback Devon Modster became UCLA’s new starting quarterback.

Before this game, Modster had only seen action in five of UCLA’s games. The most action Modster saw was against the University California, Berkeley, where he threw for 191 yards.

K-State started off extremely rocky against UCLA. At the end of the quarter, both K-State’s and UCLA’s defense had been exploited for long touchdown plays.

Interestingly enough, Skylar Thompson ended up throwing during the majority of the time he was on the field. UCLA is known to have a rather weak running defense, which was extremely confusing for many to see.

THE LOWS

Thompson threw an interception in the last five minutes of the first quarter straight into the hands of UCLA’s Darnay Holmes. 12 plays later, UCLA made the first score of the game, being a field goal, which moved them up, 3-0.

The defense failed multiple times keeping UCLA at bay, leading that to two UCLA touchdowns in the first half. K-State’s defense fell short both in the first and second quarter multiple times, but was notably more weak in the second quarter of the game.

Because of the spotty defense, it led K-State to be behind UCLA by 10 points during halftime. K-State’s chances of winning increased once Josh Rosen was officially ruled out, but they have not executed the proper plays in order to take the lead.

Offensive lineman Dalton Risner was a key in K-State’s coverage, and as previously reported, he was not going to play in this game. With no Risner, multiple Bruins were able to break through the lineman and put more pressure on K-State’s quarterbacks.

K-State’s flip-flop situation between Alex Delton and Thompson is extremely inconsistent in their play calling. Hopefully within the second half they figure out who will stay out on the field.

THE HIGHS

Always better to end on a positive note.

K-State’s Delton came in for the Wildcats as the first quarter of the game began to come to an end. Delton made his own play and found a path down the field for 68 yards.

K-State’s band provided a stellar pregame show; they took the field and performed their usual pregame show. UCLA’s band’s pregame show was held from the stands.

THOUGHTS

In order to come back into this game full swing and win, K-State’s offense needs to run the ball more frequently and target UCLA’s weak points. Without running the ball, they might not make much field movement.

K-State’s defense also will need to tighten their coverage out back to keep passers at bay. With weak defense, K-State will make it no farther than they have now.

STATISTICS

K-State leaders:

Skylar Thompson: 27 passing yards, one interception

Alex Delton: 105 rushing yards, one touchdown

Dominique Heath: 18 receiving yards

UCLA leaders:

Devon Modster: 215 passing yards, two touchdowns

Demetric Felton: 21 rushing yards

Theo Howard: 96 receiving yards, one touchdown

Live game updates are provided by @DeAundraAl and @sportscollegian on Twitter.

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DeAundra Allen
I'm DeAundra Allen, co-editor-in-chief and sports editor at the Collegian. I'm a junior in broadcast journalism and pre-law, with a minor in philosophy. I was born in Brighton, Colorado, home of La Placita and the Bulldogs. I moved to Kansas in 2010, and fell in love with press boxes at a young age. In my spare time, I talk about my pets, sports, and work towards going to law school.