December 29, 1998
By KELLEY SHANNON
AP Sports Writer
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The Kansas State Wildcats never wanted to be in the Alamo
Bowl - and it showed by the way they played most of the game.
Even their late rally couldn't overcome the unranked Purdue Boilermakers,
who drove 80 yards for a touchdown in the final minute to shock No. 4 Kansas
State 37-34 Tuesday night.
After losing a 14-point lead in the final quarter and letting the Wildcats
jump ahead 34-30, Purdue used just 54 seconds for the game-winning drive,
capped by Drew Brees' 24-yard pass to Isaac Jones with 30 seconds left.
It was a bitter ending for Kansas State (11-2), which felt snubbed at not
getting an invitation to a top-tier bowl after being knocked out of the
national title picture with a 36-33 double-overtime loss to Texas A&M in the
Big 12 championship.
"I feel for every player in that (locker) room, every coach and every
Kansas State fan that showed up here in San Antonio," said Wildcats coach Bill
Snyder. "Tonight was the culmination of three weeks of disappointment."
In fact, the Wildcats seemed to play the first three quarters as if they
resented even being in this game. Their 21 points in the fourth quarter was the
only thing that kept them from being blown out.
"I was proud of our football team, that they were able to come back from
the 14-point deficit to take the lead. We didn't give up," Snyder said.
Quarterback Michael Bishop lost a fumble and threw four interceptions, but
also threw an Alamo Bowl-record 88-yard touchdown pass to Darnell McDonald with
6:23 remaining. With 1:24 left, Bishop tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Justin
Swift as Kansas State went ahead 34-30, completing a comeback that brought
30,000 purple-clad fans to their feet.
Purdue coach Joe Tiller said this victory rivaled last year's defeat of
"This is a great win for all Purdue people," Tiller said. "The defense
played great and the special teams had its moments."
Purdue scored 17 points off Wildcats fumbles, and Kansas State stayed in
touch only because it scored its first two touchdowns after recovering bad
snaps on Purdue punt attempts. The Wildcats got the ball on the 1 after the
first and recovered the second in the end zone.
The offense didn't produce a touchdown until three minutes into the fourth
quarter on David Allen's 3-yard run that got Kansas State back into the game at
"I may have pressed too hard to make things happen," said Bishop, the
Heisman Trophy runner-up. "I'm not embarrassed at all. We got beat by a good
team. We have no reason to hang our heads."
A 37-yard field goal by Purdue's Travis Dorsch put the Boilermakers ahead
30-20 with 6:44 left.
Kansas State answered on the next play with Bishop's pass to McDonald, who
overcame pass interference to grab the ball and score untouched to move the
Wildcats to within 30-27 with 6:23 to play.
Purdue dominated Kansas State in the first half like no team had this
season. The Boilermakers made the most of Kansas State's two fumbles in the
second quarter and led 17-7 at halftime.
Kansas State, failing to score in the first quarter for the first time this
season, got on the board with 9:49 remaining in the second after a bad snap
that eluded Purdue punter Andy Standifer gave Kansas State possession at the
Boilermakers 1. K-State scored on a 1-yard pass from Bishop to McDonald.
Brees was 25-of-53 for 230 yards and three touchdowns with three
interceptions, while Bishop was only 9-of-24 for 182 yards with three
touchdowns and four interceptions, matching his interception total for the
"I'm thinking right now, how did we win that game?" Brees said. "All I
can say is that offense wins games and defense truly wins championships."
Bishop said the first half was his worst since he came to Kansas State two
years ago from Blinn (Texas) Junior College. He led Blinn to consecutive
undefeated national championships in 1995 and 1996. At Kansas State last
season, he threw for four touchdowns and ran for one in the Wildcats' 35-18
victory over Syracuse in the Fiesta Bowl.