The Kansas State Wildcats (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) will “host” the LSU Tigers (6-6, 3-5 SEC) in what is officially the 16th edition of the TaxAct Texas Bowl, but is really the 22nd since the Texas Bowl is the direct successor to the Houston Bowl. It’s the second meeting between the two teams, with LSU beating the Cats 21-0 in the 1980 season opener at Baton Rouge.
It’s K-State’s third visit to Houston; the Ron Prince Experience lost to Rutgers in the inaugural game in 2006, while the Wildcats stuck it to Texas A&M in 2016 behind game MVP Jesse Ertz. It’s LSU’s fourth trip to Houston for a bowl game. The Tigers lost two Bluebonnet Bowls, one to Baylor in 1963 and in 1972 the 10th-ranked Tigers and 11th-ranked Tennessee met in a bowl game for some stupid reason. In 2015, LSU finally won a bowl game in Houston, thrashing Texas Tech 54-27.
Brad Davis, an offensive lineman from the very first Bob Stoops class at Oklahoma, serves as LSU’s interim head coach for the game. He’s taking over for the fired Ed Orgeron, and will remain at LSU as offensive line coach when Brian Kelly officially takes the reins after the bowl game. Despite being well-traveled as an assistant, it will be the first time Davis has encountered K-State since the epic 27-24 Sooner win over the Cats in the 2000 Big 12 Championship Game.
DraftKings has K-State as a 4.5-point favorite for the game, with the total resting at 48. That implies a 27-22 win for the Cats. The line opened in quite the opposite fashion, with LSU being favored by a field goal, but the vagaries of the transfer portal have swung the pendulum the opposite way.
UPDATE: With the news that LSU won’t have a scholarship quarterback, the line has now ballooned to -7 for the Cats with a 47.5 total. That translates to 27-20 K-State.
Odds/lines subject to change. Terms and conditions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
The game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. CST kickoff on Tuesday, January 4 at NRG Stadium (72,220) in Houston, Texas. The forecast doesn’t matter, because NRG has a retractable roof, but it’s still going to be a beautiful 68° day in Houston with temperatures not expected to dip below 55°.
The television broadcast will be on ESPN, with Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, and Kelsey Riggs handling the announcing duties.
Radio listeners will hear the familiar voices of Wyatt Thompson (play-by-play), Stan Weber (analyst), and Matt Walters (sidelines) on the K-State Sports Network.
Video streaming via ESPN platforms. The K-State radio broadcast will be carried on SiriusXM stations 380 (Sirius) and 970 (SXM App), with no dedicated XM channel. Another option on SiriusXM is the Bowl Season Radio broadcast on SXM 84 with Brian Estridge, Elvis Gallegos, and Melanie Newman. Live stats will be provided by StatBroadcast.
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