HOUSTON, Texas - Kansas State hung with No. 16 Rutgers for 30 minutes, but the Scarlet Knights scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to hand the Wildcats a 37-10 loss in the inagural Texas Bowl before 52,210 fans at Reliant Stadium.
Rutgers, which just missed out on a BCS Bowl berth, was as good as advertised and kept K-State off balance all night long.
Ray Rice, the Texas Bowl MVP, rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown and Tim Brown caught two TD passes, for the Scarlet Knights (11-2), who claimed thier first bowl victory in 137 seasons of intercollegiate football.
Brown’s two TD catches came in the opening period and staked Rutgers to a quick 14-0 lead.
Kansas State (7-6) answered with a 44-yard field goal by Jeff Snodgrass -- his 17th of the season -- and a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown by Yamon Figurs that was the longest in K-State bowl history to close the gap to 14-10 midway through the second quarter.
But Jeremy Ito connected on a 37-yard field goal to close the half and linebacker Quintero Frierson returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the second half to put Rutgers comfortably ahead 24-10.
Rice sprinted 46-yards for his lone touchdown of the game on the Scarlet Knights’ next posssession before Ito closed out the scoring with a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to provide the final margin.
The Scarlet Knights' seventh-ranked defense proved to be too much and held Kansas State at bay all game long. The Wildcats mustered just 162 yards of total offense for its second fewest yards in a bowl game.
Freshman quarterback Josh Freeman finished the game 10-for-21 passing for 124 yards with two interceptions and also lost a fumble.
Junior wide receiver Jordy Nelson led the Wildcat receivers, hauling in four receptions for 81 yards.
On defense, senior linebacker Brandon Archer led all players with nine total tackles to finish his career with 268 stops for the 17th-most in school history.