Michigan loses to Kansas State 31-14 in BWW Bowl

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 1:53 am •  Published: December 29, 2013

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Shane Morris looked at ease in his first career start, calmly leading Michigan on two scoring drives to open the game.

The Wolverines had to settle for field goals, though, and never were able to catch up against Kansas State.

Morris threw for 196 yards, but Michigan's offense failed to capitalize on its early chances and its defense struggled all night in a 31-14 loss in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday.

"Definitely a disappointing game," offensive tackle Taylor Lewan said. "But given the situation, I think this team played like they did all season. I know our record didn't show how hard we worked, how hard we fought."

Morris was steady in place of injured starter Devin Gardner, completing 24 of 38 passes with a late interception.

Michigan (7-6) didn't give him much run support, gaining 65 yards on 15 carries, and finished with 261 total yards — 82 on a late scoring drive with the game out of reach.

The Wolverines also had trouble with Kansas State's offense, particularly early, allowing the Wildcats to score on their first three possessions and roll up 420 total yards.

"We didn't play well enough in a lot of areas," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said.

Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett did most of the damage against Michigan's defense, connecting for three touchdowns.

Waters threw for 271 yards on 21-of-27 passing and ran for 42 more yards. Lockett set a school record with 10 catches for 116 yards and tied the Kansas State bowl record with his three TDs to help the Wildcats (8-5) end a five-game bowl losing streak that dated to the 2002 Holiday Bowl.

"To win the way we did it put a nice little cap to our season," Waters said. "The journey we have been through, to end like this is special."

Kansas State finished the season strong after some early difficulties — starting with a home loss to FCS opponent North Dakota State. The Wildcats won five of their final six games while scoring at least 31 points in each.

Michigan limped to the finish after a 5-0 start, losing five of its final seven games and Gardner along the way. The redshirt junior injured his toe in the regular-season finale against Ohio State and didn't recover in time for the bowl game, leaving the Wolverines in the hands of Morris.

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