» With its 40-35 win over Kansas State in Friday’s Alamo Bowl, UCLA has now reached 10 wins for the ninth time in school history. The Bruins are now riding just their third-ever streak of back-to-back 10-win seasons, with the first two coming in 1997-98 and 1987-88.
Including K-State, UCLA played 10 teams that earned bowl berths, tying them for second-most in the country. The only exceptions were Virginia, Cal and Colorado.
» In his career finale, quarterback Brett Hundley didn’t have his best passing game, finishing 12 of 24 for 136 yards and a touchdown. He started the game 10-of-12 before a run of seven straight incompletions. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said afterward that Hundley’s right hand was still a bit sore from the finger injury that forced him out of UCLA’s loss to Stanford in November.
But Hundley did plenty of damage with his legs, running 11 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. The Bruins followed the blueprint that TCU used to beat K-State, 41-20, on Nov. 8. Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin also only threw for one touchdown, but ran for three scores and 123 yards. Boykin’s proficiency on the ground also helped open up lanes for tailback Aaron Green, who had 171 yards.
“Brett went to town with his legs, for sure,” said receiver Jordan Payton.
Hundley improved his UCLA career records to 75 touchdown passes and 11,713 total offensive yards.
» Paul Perkins ran for a career-high 194 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 carries, including a 67-yard scoring run with 2:20 left in the game that gave UCLA a 40-28 lead. His rushing total was the third-most in Alamo Bowl history, and earned him the game’s offensive MVP award.
He finished the season with 1,575 rushing yards, the second-highest single-season total in UCLA history — behind Johnathan Franklin’s 1,734 yards in 2012. Perkins bumped Karim Abdul-Jabbar (1,571 yards, 1995) down to third place.
The redshirt sophomore, who settled for All-Pac-12 honorable mention behind four other backs, also holds sixth place in the Bruin record books with 1,776 all-purpose yards this season.
“Paul has always been, to me, the best back in the country,” Hundley said. “He showed that today. And I think this offense, having Johnathan Franklin, and then everybody is wondering who was going to replace him — Paul stepped in and did an amazing job.”
» As he did in every single game this season, linebacker Eric Kendricks paced the Bruins in tackles, making 10 to increase his all-time UCLA record to 481. He finishes his career with 25 double-digit tackle performances, just one behind Don Rogers’ record.
Kendricks had two sacks, including one on Kansas State’s very first offensive snap, and a career-high three tackles for loss. He received an Alamo Bowl defensive MVP trophy to go along with the Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy he earned earlier this season.
» Anchored by Deon Hollins’ career-high three sacks, UCLA’s seven sacks were a season high. It marked team’s highest single-game total since the 49-24 win at Rice that opened Jim Mora’s tenure in 2012. The Bruins also had seven against the Owls, but only 42 sack yards that day compared to the 51 they had at the Alamodome.
The last time UCLA had more sack yards in a game was, coincidentally, also in a win against Kansas State. The Bruins had six sacks for 55 yards in a 23-9 home in 2009.
Despite notching just four sacks through its first four games, UCLA finished the season with 29 — just two shy of its 2013 total.
» Thanks in large part to those sacks, UCLA held K-State to an absurdly low 31 rushing yards on 32 carries. That’s the best performance for a Bruin run defense since 2009, when UCLA held Arizona State to 21 yards on Nov. 28, and Washington State to 26 yards on Oct. 4.
» Safety Jaleel Wadood, an injury replacement for Randall Goforth in the starting lineup after the latter’s shoulder surgeries, finished his debut season with 59 tackles. That tied him for fourth-best mark ever for a UCLA true freshman. He was third on the team with eight tackles in the Alamo Bowl, and also had one of the team’s four quarterback hurries.
» Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett set a new Alamo Bowl record with 13 catches, beating the old mark of 11 set by Purdue’s Isaac Jones in 1998.
Lockett also set a bowl record with 249 all-purpose yards. His 41-yard kickoff return set Kansas State up with a short field, but it settled for a field goal. He also would have scored on a long punt return had it not been called back on a holding penalty.
“You guys saw what he can do,” said linebacker Myles Jack. “Punt return, kick return. He’s definitely a challenge, and he deserves all the credit he gets. He’s a talented player.”
» Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn ended his junior season by making 13 of his last 14 field goal attempts. In that stretch, he missed one from 37 yards, but made three from more than 40 yards out — including a 44-yarder in the third quarter yesterday that ended Kansas State’s
22-0 15-0 run.
Fairbairn is now 11 of 22 on career field goal attempts of at least 40 yards.
» UCLA’s 15 penalties for 128 yards set an Alamo Bowl record.
“They started to pile up on us,” Mora said. “We got a little emotional. It got tense. Like I said, some of those penalties were by young guys. They’re going to learn from these things. They’re going to learn how to relax in those situations and just execute.”