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Kansas State to play UCLA in Cactus Bowl on December 26

A familiar opponent in a familiar place.

Our only regret is that UCLA fired Jim Mora. We had issues to address.
Our only regret is that UCLA fired Jim Mora. We had issues to address.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In news first reported by Tyler Dreiling of KMAN on Twitter, and later confirmed by Kellis Robinett, Kansas State’s bowl destination has been settled as they’ll head to Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz., on December 26 for the Cactus Bowl. Robinett’s confirmation added the opponent, as the Wildcats will take on the UCLA Bruins.

This will mark K-State’s 21st bowl appearance and ninth consecutive. It’s the fourth trip to the Cactus for the Wildcats — each of the previous three trips being under a different bowl name (Copper, Insight, Buffalo Wild Wings). K-State is 2-1 in those games, having destroyed Wyoming in 1993, lost to Syracuse in 2001, and beating Michigan in 2013.

They are 0-1 in bowl games against their opponent, which brings back memories of a chippy 2014 Alamo Bowl post-game involving Jim Mora, who UCLA fired as their head coach just weeks ago. It’s the fourth meeting between the schools, all coming within Snyder 2.0. In addition to the 40-35 Alamo Bowl loss, UCLA won 23-9 in Pasadena in 2009; K-State won the return trip to Manhattan the following year 31-22.

We’ll have more coverage as the month progresses, of course. For now, start packing for yet another trip to the great Southwest, K-State’s tenth in the last 25 seasons.