R&L Carriers New Orleans Matchup: Michigan Wolverines vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Date/Time: December 28th, 10:15 ET
Point Spread: Kansas State -3.5
Sun Devil Stadium will be the site of one of the many bowl games played in the Southwestern portion of the country this bowl season, as the Michigan Wolverines tango with the Kansas State Wildcats in the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
The Wolverines had a frustrating end to their season, and we are wondering out loud if the team doesn’t do well here in Tempe, if Head Coach Brady Hoke is going to get the boot. We have seen the Wolverines do this before, as they fired Head Coach Rich Rodriguez on January 2nd, a day after getting shellacked in the Gator Bowl against the Mississippi State Bulldogs before Hoke was hired. Michigan lost four of its last five games, though it did beat the number in its last three, and it had the Ohio State Buckeyes dead to rights in the Big House on the final day of the regular season. QB Devin Gardner had a respectable season, throwing for 2,960 yards and 21 TDs this season, while WR Jeremy Gallon had a massive year with 80 catches and 1,284 yards, yet this offense just had far too many games where it just didn’t get anything going and didn’t make any big time plays. Gallon had at least 95 yards in five games this season. In those five games, Michigan averaged 42.4 points per game. In the rest of its games this season, it was only good for 27.6 points per game.
Kansas State started off its season with the frustration of losing to the North Dakota State Bison. However, the perhaps soon to be FCS champs were a darn good team this year, and the argument could be made that it was better than half of the FBS teams in the country this year as well. The Wildcats turned it around in the second half of the season, and it could be seen as coming along in its losses to start October. The team stuck around with the Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma State Cowboys, and Baylor Bears, who turned out to be three of the four best teams in the conference this year. Yes, the Oklahoma Sooners did beat the Wildcats in Manhattan at the end of the season, but in the end, KSU finished up the year with a 6-2 ATS record in its last eight games. QB Jake Waters didn’t have the best statistical season in the world, but he got the ball in the hands of WR Tyler Lockett quite a bit. These two hooked up for 1,146 yards and eight TDs. QB Daniel Sams comes in and runs the Wildcat offense quite a bit (literally and figuratively), and he had 452 passing yards and 785 rushing yards this year. RB John Hubert probably underachieved with 968 yards and nine scores, but he is still a lethal running back.
The Wildcats have done quite well over the course of the last several seasons, but they just haven’t finished the job in their bowl games. KSU has dropped five straight bowl games both SU and ATS, and though you might not believe it, the last time this team won a bowl game was back at the 2002 Holiday Bowl against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Michigan has gone 1-1 in bowl games under Hoke, though last year’s Outback Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks was certainly an excusable defeat.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.