In what has been an up and down (mostly down) year for the Michigan football team, it will hope to make the most of it in its final game against Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Michigan (7-5) will face Kansas State (7-5) for the first time ever in Tempe, Arizona on December 28 at 10:15 p.m. ET.
It will also mark the first time Michigan will play at Sun Devil Stadium. The Wildcats, however, have played in the bowl twice before. In 2001, the team lost to Syracuse 26-3 and in 1993, it defeated Wyoming 52-17. The Wolverines have now appeared in a bowl game in 37 of the last 39 years.
Last season, Michigan played in the Outback Bowl, where they lost to South Carolina 33-23. Kansas State played in the Fiesta Bowl last year, and were defeated by Oregon 35-17.
A way too early preview:
Kansas State finished with the same record as Michigan in the regular season and won five of its last six games to do so. The Wildcats use a two quarterback offense, featuring Daniel Sims and Jake Waters. Waters does most of the passing and Sims serves as more of a dual-threat guy. Think of Northwestern’s Cain Kolter and Trevor Siemian.
John Hubert is the team’s primary running back, who is nearing 1,000 yards on the season. Tyler Locket is far and away the team’s top receiving target, as he has hauled in 71 passes for 1,146 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Wildcats’ defense ranks 36th in the nation, allowing 367.1 yards per game. It is led by defensive end Ryan Mueller, who has racked up 11.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss on the season.
For Michigan, they come in off of one of its best performances of the season against arch rival Ohio State, albeit it was a 1-point loss. The Wolverines will need to maintain some of its success offensively (they racked up over 600 yards against the Buckeyes) and improve defensively (allowed nearly 400 yards on the ground and well over 500 total).
There will be much more to report as this game draws nearer. We have nearly three weeks until the game will be played, but all signs would indicate at this point that the game between Michigan and Kansas State will be a closely-contested game. Both teams will hope to salvage what have been disappointing seasons come December 28th.