This was not the destination the Bruins desired. But their long-shot hopes of being the Pac-12’s representative in the four-team college football playoff evaporated in a 31-10 loss to Stanford on Nov. 28.
So the Bruins will make their last stand -- for the 2014 season -- in San Antonio.
The Wildcats were ranked 11th and the Bruins No. 14 in the College Football Playoff rankings. This will be the third meeting between the teams. UCLA beat Kansas State, 23-9, in 2009. The Wildcats won the rematch in 2010, 31-22.
All Kansas State needed to do that year was beat Texas A&M in the Big 12 championship game, but blew a 27-12 lead in the last nine minutes. The Aggies won in double-overtime, 36-33. The Wildcats lost to Purdue, 37-34, in the Alamo Bowl.
UCLA blew its shot at the title in 1998 when Miami’s Edgerrin James ran all over the Bruins in a 49-45 victory in the regular season finale. UCLA lost to Wisconsin, 38-31, in the Rose Bowl.
Tennessee beat Florida State, 23-16, in the Fiesta Bowl to win the national title.
This is the first time UCLA (9-3) has appeared in the Alamo Bowl, which is the Pac-12’s No. 2 bowl game after the Rose Bowl. It will also be the last game for quarterback Brett Hundley, provided he has recovered from a finger injury on his throwing hand suffered in the Stanford game. Hundley, a junior, is expected to declare for the 2015 NFL draft.
Kansas State (9-3), which has played in the Alamo Bowl once, is also led by a multi-skilled quarterback. Jake Waters has thrown for 2,865 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for 440 yards and eight touchdowns.
Waters has two quality receivers. Tyler Lockett has 79 receptions for 1,193 yards. Curry Sexton has 67 receptions for 940 yards. Charles Jones is the Wildcats’ leading rusher with 476 yards and has scored 12 touchdowns.
UCLA did not make Coach Jim Mora available for an interview.