history of the cheez-it Bowl
by jack macgruder
THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER …
The Cheez-it bowl does not seem the same without a Lockett
in the game. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder brought two
generations of the Tulsa Locketts to the the Cheez-It® Bowl
through the years, and all stood out.
Wide receiver Kevin Lockett scored on a 30-yard touchdown
reception in the Wildcats’ 52-17 victory over Wyoming in the
1993 game played at the original venue, Arizona Stadium in
Tucson. A freshman All-American that season, Kevin nished a
four-bowl career with 222 receptions and 3,131 receiving yards.
Wide receiver Aaron Lockett, Kevin’s brother, followed a
decade later. He had 14 pass receptions for a touchdown
and four more kick return scores in a four-bowl career that
concluded with a loss to Syracuse in the 2001 Insight Bowl
at Chase Field.
As it turned out, the best was yet to come.
Anything you can do, pop and unc ...
Wide receiver Tyler Lockett, was named the offensive most
valuable player after catching 10 passes for 116 yards
and three touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 31-14 victory over
Michigan in the 2013 game at Sun Devil Stadium. He nished
his career with 17 school records, overtaking his father in pass
receptions receiving yards and touchdowns catches.
Then there are the Prices.
Mike Price, who announced his retirement after a 31-year
coaching career, brought his Washington State team to
Arizona Stadium for the 1992 Copper Bowl behind an
offense that started with quarterback Drew Bledsoe and
included running back Shaumbe Wright-Fair.
In the end, Price’s son, Aaron, was the game-saver. Price
made a 22-yard eld goal, the only score of the fourth
quarter, to break a tie and lift the No. 18-ranked Cougars to
their ninth victory of the season.
Skyler Howard wasted little time with the top off, throwing
passes on the rst ve plays, and he did not stop there. Howard
completed 28-of-51 passes for 532 yards and ve touchdowns,
both Cheez-it bowl records. He broke Drew Bledsoe’s record
for passing yards and passed a group of marksmen that
included former West Virginia quarterback Marc Bulger
with his ve scores.
Byron Hanspard and Zebby Lethridge
(Texas Tech, 1995)
The Red Raiders dominated all the way from B to Z -- Byron
and Zebby -- in running up the second highest point total in
Cheez-it bowl history in a 55-41 victory over Air Force. Texas
Tech used a no-huddle offense for the rst time that season,
if foreign then commonplace now. Hanspard rushed for 260
yards and four touchdowns, both Cheez-It® Bowl records,
and Lethridge was just as ef cient. He passed for 245 yards
and also rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns. In what
must have been a close vote, Zebby was named the offensive
player of the game over Hanspard.
John Walsh (BYU, 1994)
Oklahoma, which gave up only 13 points in a loss to eventual
national champion Nebraska only a month before, was
no match for Walsh, another in a line of skilled Cougars
quarterbacks. Walsh completed 31 passes for 454 yards and
four touchdowns in BYU’s lopsided 31-6 victory. An equal
opportunity strike-thrower, Walsh had a touchdown pass in
every quarter. His 454 passing yards are the fourth-highest
in Cheez-It® Bowl history.
Andre Coleman (Kansas State, 1993)
Coleman was a key early component in the Wildcats’
ascension to their status as perennial Big 12 contender,
and his performance in a 52-17 victory over Wyoming was
one to note. He caught eight passes for 144 yards and a
touchdown and had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown
to end the rst half. He was named the offensive player
of the game. When he was shown on SportsCenter afterward,
he shouted the show’s well-known theme: Da-duh-da,
da-duh-da. It brought down the house.
Ron Dayne (Wisconsin, 1996)
With his surname, could he be known as anything but “Great
Dayne.” And if the shoe ts … Dayne, a physical freshman, rushed
30 times for 246 yards and three touchdowns, being named the
offensive player of the game in the Wolverines’ 38-10 victory over
Utah. Dayne’s big day ranks second in Cheez-It® Bowl history in
rushing yards and is tied for second in rushing touchdowns. He
nished his four-year career with an NCAA-record 7,125 yards
rushing, including his bowl game performances. Cheez-It® Bowl
fans, of course, could have seen it coming.
Zane Gonzalez (Arizona State, 2015)
Gonzalez gave an indication of what was to come in a
record-breaking senior season in 2016 with a remarkable
performance in the nal game of his junior year Jan. 2.
Gonzalez tied a bowl game record with four eld goals,
including a long of 48 yards, and also tied the record for
points by a kicker with 16, adding four extra-points in a wild
43-42 loss to West Virginia.