No. 7 Kansas State (11-1) vs. No. 5 Oregon (11-1), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Oregon by 8Ĺ
Series record: First meeting
Whatís at stake: Once national championship front-runners, Kansas State and Oregon get a nice consolation prize by playing in one of the bowl seasonís most anticipated games. The Wildcats (5) and Ducks (4) are both in the top 5 of the BCS standings and have two of the nationís most dynamic offenses, setting up what should be a second straight marquee Fiesta Bowl matchup after Oklahoma State outlasted Stanford 41-38 in overtime last year.
Key matchup: Oregonís speed vs. Kansas Stateís power. The Ducks play at a pace like few teams in college football and often score quickly with 44 of their 80 TD drives this season coming in two minutes or less, including 22 in 60 seconds or less. The Wildcats are a bit more methodical and will need to use their ball-possession ways to keep the ball away from Oregonís offense.
Players to watch: Kansas StateĖQB Collin Klein. A dual-threat quarterback, he became Kansas Stateís second Heisman Trophy finalist (with Michael Bishop in 1998) after throwing for 2,490 yards, rushing for 890 more and accounting for 37 TDs. OregonĖRB Kenjon Barner. A threat to score every time he touches the ball, Barner helped the Ducks overcome the loss of all-time leading rusher LaMichael James, now playing in the NFL. Barner ran for 1,624 yards and 21 TDs, combining with DeAnthony Thomas to give Oregon one of the most explosive running back tandems in college football.
Facts & figures: Kansas State is in its 16th bowl in school history and 14th under coach Bill Snyder. The Wildcats are in a BCS bowl for the second time after playing in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl. ... Oregon is in its fourth straight BCS bowl under Chip Kelly after playing in the 2010 Rose Bowl, the 2011 BCS national championship game and winning the Rose Bowl last year for the first time in 95 years. ... Oregon QB Marcus Mariota set the Pac-12 freshman record for TD passes with 30. ... The Wildcats have lost their last four bowl games, including 29-16 to Arkansas in last yearís Cotton Bowl. Kansas Stateís last bowl win was 34-27 over Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl. ... Barner and Anthony are the only Oregon players since 1965 to score TDs rushing, receiving, on punt returns and kick returns in a career.
Ė Associated Press
Notice about comments:
Aiken Standard is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point.