Quarterback Brett Hundley led No. 14 UCLA to a 31-6 halftime lead and the Bruins held off No. 11 Kansas State 40-35 on Friday in the Alamo Bowl.
Kansas State (9-4) scored 22 of the first 25 points in the second half, cutting it to 34-28 on quarterback Jake Waters' 1-yard run with 4:54 left.
UCLA coach Jim Mora knew the Bruins had work to do to finish off the Wildcats.
"We're playing the 11th-ranked team in the country, and it's not going to be easy," Mora said. "You know they're going to fight back. If they don't fight back, they don't deserve to be No. 11."
Paul Perkins countered for UCLA (10-3) with a 67-yard run with 2:20 to go.
"That hole was huge. Anybody could have run through it," said Perkins, who ran for 194 yards on 20 carries. "And on the kick, I just wanted to secure the ball and get us out of here with the win."
Waters threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett with 1:21 left, but UCLA recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Lockett had 13 catches for 164 yards for Kansas State.
Waters was 31-for-48 for 338 yards, but was sacked seven times — twice by Butkus Award winner Eric Kendricks — and threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
"Our players didn't give in," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "Fought back. It wasn't enough."
Hundley ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and passed for 136 yards. UCLA coach Jim Mora has said Hundley is forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
UCLA raced to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, with Hundley scoring on runs of 10 and 28 yards. The Bruins outgained Kansas State 218-4 and had a 9-1 edge in first downs in the quarter.
In the second quarter, Perkins had a 32-yard touchdown run and Hundley threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Dave Lucien. The Bruins sacked Waters five times in the half.
The Wildcats opened the second half with a 17-play drive, capped by Waters' 3-yard touchdown pass to Lockett and a successful two-point conversion — also from Waters to Lockett. After forcing a fumble by Perkins, Kansas State took over at UCLA's 21 and scored on DeMarcus Robinson's 2-yard run.
Hundley had a 40-yard run on a third-and-11 play to set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's 44-yard field goal that gave UCLA a 34-21 lead late in the third quarter.
Houston 35, Pitt 34
Greg Ward threw three touchdowns in the final 3:41 of the Armed Forces Bowl, two after Houston recovered onside kicks, and completed a game-winning two-point conversion as the Cougars beat Pittsburgh 35-34 with an improbable comeback Friday.
Pitt (6-7) led 31-6 when ACC offensive player of the year James Conner had his second touchdown run with 14 minutes left in the game.
Houston (8-5) went on to the biggest comeback in an FBS game this season, and matched the third-largest ever in a bowl game. Ward had an 8-yard TD pass to Deontay Greenberry before the Cougars recovered their first onside kick. That led to a 29-yard catch by Demarcus Ayers on a fourth-and-13 play with 1:58 left, and Houston tried another onside kick.
While the second one didn't go 10 yards on the rain-slickened field, the ball was touched by the same Pitt defender who couldn't handle the first one before Houston running back Kenneth Farrow jumped on it at the Cougars 43. Greenberry began the drive with a 38-yard catch, then had a 25-yard TD with 59 seconds left.