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SLATE: Kansas State Ready for UCLA Tonight in the Cactus Bowl

K-State is favored, but predictions vary.

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NCAA Football: Iowa State at Kansas State
Will the Cactus Bowl be Bill’s Swan Song?
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports


AMS has helped us relive K-State’s bowl history, with his Christmas Day installment Covering 2002 through 2012. The ‘Cats endured a drought in that decade, but sill managed five bowl games, including one under the Coach Who Shall Not be Named. Look for the final installment of the excellent retrospective later today.


Football, football and only football today.

First, from the local perspective:

Kevin Haskin tells us that the Wildcats cannot always bank on their running game alone to win games. Yo, Kevin: We have this guy, Skylar Thompson, who can toss the pill around a bit. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Meanwhile, Kellis Robinett sees UCLA’s run defense as a unit K-State can exploit. Coach Snyder says the ‘Cats want to force the Bruins to defend “everything.” Toeing the company line, looks for a “complete performance.”

If you wonder how a baseball stadium is converted for football, Ryan Black has you covered. Ken Corbitt’s pregame notes from Chase field reminded us of another bowl game played at a baseball stadium, the frustrating 2010 Pinstripe Bowl. He also contrasted the tasks facing K-State’s and UCLA’s defenses in the Cactus Bowl.

Dalton Schoen is on scholarship now, thanks to his breakout season at wide receiver. Dalton gave his own perspective on his emergence in a short video clip.

In tag-team format, writers at the Collegian all chose K-State to win against UCLA. They showed their work, as good students must do.

K-State’s players gave their time at the Phoenix Salvation Army’s annual Christmas dinner, where they handed out food, played games with kids, painted nails and even swept floors after haircuts. The Mercury’s Ryan Black told the story about a rewarding experience in perspective. KAKE-TV provided video of the event.

Corbin McGuire of K-State Sports Extra also told the story, with photos, and recounted K-State punter Nick Walsh’s efforts to call attention to Big Brothers/Big Sisters through social media. Walsh gave away a Yeti cooler that he received from the Cactus Bowl as an incentive to retweet his message on behalf of the organization. Numbers suggest his effort was a big success.

National Viewpoint:

The Associated Press dusted off the usual speculation article to remind us that Bill Snyder may be coaching his final game.

The L.A. Times broke down the game, unit-by-unit, noting a statistical advantage for the Bruins in many areas, but making no predictions. The Times also admitted that nobody knows what kind of UCLA team we will see tonight.

Four of seven experts at picked UCLA over K-State, even with Bruin quarterback Josh Rosen expected to miss the game. DISRESPECT!

Following the lead of L.A.’s biggest paper, USA Today posted a non-committal breakdown of the game.

AZCentral highlighted contrasting styles and opposite strengths and weaknesses of the two squads, as it tried to drum up interest in the game at Chase Field.

We could go on and on and on. If you see a great link we overlooked, please post it in the comments.

Good luck to the guys tonight. Let’s hope we can ride the momentum of the Oklahoma State and Iowa State games to a second consecutive bowl win and positive momentum for next season.