5th Annual Cactus Bowl
Stadium: Arizona Stadium
Offensive Player of the Game: Andre Coleman, Kansas State
Defensive Player of the Game: Kenny McEntyre, Kansas State
Head Coaches: Bill Snyder, Kansas State - Joe Tiller, Wyoming
Weather: Clear, 64 degrees
Payout Per Team: $700,000
Kansas State put the finishing touches on one of the best seasons in school history with a 52–17 win over Wyoming in the 5th Annual Cactus Bowl, in front of a then-record crowd of 49,075 fans. Approximately 20,000 fans were wearing purple.
The Wildcats won their first bowl game to finish the season 9–2–1, their highest victory total since 1910, and earned a no. 20 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.
Quarterback Chad May and wide receiver Andre Coleman were the keys to K-State’s high-powered offense. May scored on a short touchdown run and threw for 275 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns, one on a 61-yard bomb to Coleman, the other a 30-yard strike to Kevin Lockett.
Wyoming took a quick 3–0 lead on a 35-yard field goal, but the Wildcats scored on their first three possessions to jump ahead 16–3. J.J. Smith put Kansas State on the board with a two-yard touchdown run when the Wildcats drove 68 yards in just six plays to take a 6–3 lead. Tate Wright’s 22-yard field goal and Ryan Christopherson’s three-yard touchdown plunge set the stage for Coleman’s dramatics.
Coleman, also an all-America return specialist, fielded a punt just before halftime, sidestepped two defenders, and raced untouched down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown return to give the Wildcats a 24–10 lead at intermission.
It took the Wildcats just 54 seconds to score in the third quarter when May hit Coleman on the 61-yard touchdown pass to extend K-State’s lead to an insurmountable 31–10.
Cornerback Kenny McEntyre provided the game’s crowning moment for Kansas State with a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown with less than seven minutes left in the game.
Kansas State amassed 502 yards of total offense and averaged 7.5 yards per play. Coleman earned offensive player-of-the-game honors with eight receptions for 144 yards and 283 all-purpose yards, including his two long touchdowns.