Al’s Corner: Reaction and analysis to K-State’s Cactus Bowl comeback

K-State players celebrate after winning the Cactus bowl game againist UCLA in Phoenix, Arizona on Dec. 26, 2017. (Photo by Sabrina Cline | Collegian Media Group)

They came, they saw, they conquered.

Right off the bat, the Kansas State Wildcats struggled. It was clear that the Wildcats needed to change something in order to be successful. As the second quarter dwindled down, hope fell and fans kept screaming, “Run the ball.”

The University of California, Los Angeles’ backup quarterback Devon Mobster definitely came with a few tricks up hid sleeve. Mobster threw for a total of 295 passing yards and two touchdowns. As far as backup quarterbacks go, Mobster was definitely one to remember from the Bruins.

In the first half, both defenses were heavily blasted. They both let two long touchdowns get through their defenses. The biggest thing to take away from both defenses is that neither of them really seemed to be in the game.

UCLA’s offense was all there. They were a huge threat to K-State’s defense, and it showed. Although, there always is some bad with the good, and the horrid part of UCLA was the rushing defense. Their rushing defense was nightmarish — the smallest running play could slip right under their noses.

A big … no, huge mistake K-State made was not running the ball more in the first half. If K-State would have ran the ball more in the first half, they would not have had the score adversity they were faced with.

Luckily, K-State woke up in the second half.

Alex Delton was put back in the quarterback spot after Skylar Thompson was taken out for ineffective play. As soon as Delton got in, he ran the ball for 68 yards down the field. Delton made it into K-State’s bowl history by beating out Dominique Heath’s 52 yard record set last year at the Texas Bowl.

Delton led the Wildcats to victory after excellent play execution and work ethic. Delton was later named Offensive Most Vaulable Player of the game, while Denzel Goolsby received the Defensive MVP.

When it came to why Delton was their number one choice, Snyder talked about his thought process behind it.

“He had 105 yards rushing at halftime,” Snyder said. “We’ve never had 105 yards rushing — don’t ask me how stupid I am. You go with what brung ya, right? Not that Skylar wasn’t doing a good job. But Alex — and we knew going in that was something we had to be able to do was run the ball with him. And Skylar can run it as well no doubt about that. But Alex, the proof’s in the pudding. He ran it well.”

Delton also talked about his preparation behind the game and how it got him to his highest potential.

“I haven’t seen the field in quite some time, but I practiced fully in our bowl preparation,” Delton said. “And I felt confident with everything we were doing, with our game plan and I took this as if it was a normal week. Due to previous injuries I was unable to play early in the season. But I just trusted our coaches, trusted our teammates, and my number was called. I just did the best of my ability. So it’s huge credit to those guys up front. Those guys don’t get enough credit. Those guys worked their butts off. And they’re great, tough, hard-nosed guys, especially our lead backs. And those guys made my job easy tonight.”

It was clear that the Wildcat’s had something brewing from the start of the second quarter. Luckily, they were able to bounce back and claim what was theirs.

Head coach Bill Snyder has yet to say if he will be coming back for another season.

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.