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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Kansas State Wildcats lost in a tough battle to No. 23 Navy in the AutoZone Liberty bowl 20-17 on New Year's Eve.
The Midshipmen won the Liberty Bowl on Tuesday by completing a fourth-down halfback option pass in the final minute putting their ball inside the five-yard line for a Bojan Nichols 23-yard field goal.
After missed field goal early in the fourth by Navy, Kansas State finally got its offense going, as Skylar Thompson connected with Wykeen Gill on a 15-yard completion and a 42-yard pass on back-to-back plays. Those long gains set up Thompson's 1-yard sneak that tied the game with 5:14 left.
The Wildcats were in the ball game the entire contest and had a lead after a 66-yard punt return by Phillip Brooks took place in the second quarter.
K-State was picked before the season to finish ninth out of 10 teams in the Big 12. Instead the Wildcats won eight games and stunned the eventual Big 12 champion Oklahoma in Chris Klieman's debut season.