Monthly Archives: December 2013

Michigan quarterback Shane Morris gives Kansas State something new to prepare for

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke insists there is a chance Devin Gardner will start at quarterback against Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but all signs point to Shane Morris leading the Wolverines’ offense.

Gardner, a dual-threat veteran who amassed more than 3,000 yards of offense and threw for 21 touchdowns this season, hasn’t practiced since the final game of the regular season and arrived in Arizona on crutches. He is apparently suffering from a nasty case of turf toe.

In all likelihood, that will force Morris front and center. Hoke said Gardner may be able to play on Saturday if he can start practicing on Wednesday. If he stays on crutches, Morris, a freshman who completed five of nine passes for 65 yards this season, will start.

Michigan would obviously prefer Gardner to play, but Hoke seems confident in Morris. After a month of practicing with the first-string offense, Hoke thinks Michigan’s offense will look like it did during the regular season if Morris is taking the snaps.

“I don’t know how much it would change it,” Hoke said Monday at a Buffalo Wild Wings news conference. “The throws don’t necessarily have to change. Obviously we think he’s a pretty good quarterback. His ability both with his legs and arm is pretty good. I think they’d have to respect that.”
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Kansas State, Michigan experience slow ticket sales for Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

12 BWW Logo Kansas State and Michigan are both having trouble selling their full allotment of 11,000 tickets to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

A K-State spokesman said Monday that the school has sold roughly 6,000 tickets to the Dec. 28 game. The Detroit News reported last week that Michigan had sold 5,600 tickets from its allotment, and had already decided to donate 4,500 back to the bowl game.

K-State advertised bowl tickets at Intrust Bank Arena on Saturday during timeouts of its basketball game against Gonzaga, and tickets remain on sale at its athletic web site. They can be purchased for anywhere from $25 in the upper deck to $95 in the lower levels.

Though bowl ticket sales are down from the past two years, when K-State sold out its allotment for the Cotton Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl in pre-orders alone, the spokesman said K-State is still expecting 10,000-15,000 fans to attend the game. The Wildcats are well known for their traveling fan base, and should receive good fan support at Sun Devil Stadium.
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K-State Q&A: The one where we talk about Buffalo Wild Wings, but not its bowl game. Plus Jevon Thomas and Gonzaga

We have been calling this blog entry “Football Friday,” but with more and more people asking about K-State basketball, we decided to switch to “K-State Q&A.”

It’s an appropriate time to switch names. This week, we didn’t get a single question about football.

I assumed we would get at least one about Mighigan quarterback Devin Gardner, who hasn’t practiced since injuring his toe in the final game of the regular season and is questionable for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. It sounds like he will play in some capacity, but backup Shane Morris will be prepared just in case. Gardner put up good numbers this season, but some Michigan fans have been clamoring for Morris, a touted freshman. K-State has prepared for multiple quarterbacks all season. This will be no different.

Now on to your questions. Thanks, as always, for asking them.

This is a fantastic question. I hope the fine people at Buffalo Wild Wings set up a pregame eating competition so we can find out. But for now, let’s speculate. At 345 pounds, defensive tackle Chris Brown weighs more than anyone else on the K-State football roster. So he figures to be a contender. Every member of the offensive line can probably eat their fair share of wings, too. I could see Cornelius Lucas or Cody Whitehair eating 20-plus. Ryan Mueller also strikes me as the type of person who would go all-out to win a wing-eating contest. But let’s not rule out the skinny players, either.

Go check out the Major League Eating rankings. Yes, that is a real thing. You have to go all the way to No. 12 to find a fat guy. So maybe someone like freshman defensive back Chance Pitcock, who weighs a team-low 165 pounds, could out-eat everyone. Or maybe it’s someone like Jack Cantele or Tramaine Thompson. It would be fascinating to watch. I like to think the winner could eat 35 wings.
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Football Friday: Kansas State, Michigan, Nebraska and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Football Friday is back. Who else is excited?

This is a good week to talk Kansas State football. The Wildcats are headed to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl later this month to take on Michigan, and that should be a highly competitive game. Both teams went 7-5 in the regular season and K-State is an early 3.5-point favorite.

And with a title sponsor like Buffalo Wild Wings, you know the game won’t be decided until the final play.

Anyway, let’s get onto your questions. Thanks, as always, for providing them.

Nebraska vs. Kansas State definitely seemed like the more compelling matchup, and I think most expected the former Big 8/Big 12 rivals to meet in Tempe. The Cornhuskers won more games than the Wolverines and beat them head-to-head, yet the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl opted for Michigan. You don’t see that every day. It would have been like Texas Tech jumping over K-State in the Big 12 bowl order. There are, however, a few reasonable explanations why Michigan was the more attractive team. For starters, K-State and Michigan have never played. It’s always fun to create new matchups in bowls. K-State now gets a shot against a storied program. Conversely, Nebraska and K-State have played 95 times, with the Cornhuskers winning 78 of those games. They have even played in a bowl game (kind of) before. Anyone remember the 1992 Coca-Cola Bowl in Tokyo? I get that K-State vs. Nebraska would have been cool, but from a bowl executive’s point of view, are Nebraska fans going to be fired up for another game against K-State?
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Five things you should know about Michigan

Two days have passed since the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl announced it was inviting Kansas State and Michigan to play in its annual postseason game.

K-State coaches, no doubt, have been researching the Wolverines ever since. So have I. Here are a few things that stand out about their season:

1. Michigan and Kansas State have been polar opposites this year.

The Wolverines started 5-0 with a signature victory over Notre Dame. The Wildcats started 2-4 with an unexpected loss to North Dakota State. Yet, both teams finished 7-5.

Narrow wins over Akron and Connecticut can now be viewed as signs that Michigan wasn’t as good as its hot start indicated. But a loss to Penn State truly sent Michigan spiraling downward. The Wolverines lost that game 43-40 (in four overtimes) and never truly recovered. They needed 63 points to beat Indiana in their following game and then lost four of their last five, with the only victory coming in three overtimes against Northwestern.

Michigan didn’t play horribly during that stretch. It lost to Nebraska by four, to Iowa by three and to Ohio State by one. But it will head to Arizona with zero momentum.
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Is Kansas State headed for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl or the Holiday Bowl? A Sugar Bowl executive will provide the answer

As strange as it may sound, a New Orleans man in a blazer will decide Kansas State’s bowl destination.

The Wildcats face two possibilities:

1. The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, which will be played against a Big 10 opponent (possibly Nebraska) on Dec. 28 in Tempe, Ari.

2. The Holiday Bowl, which will be played against a Pac-12 team (potentially Arizona State) on Dec. 30 in San Diego.

K-State could end up in either game, but the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl seems like the current favorite. That’s a drastic shift from a few days ago, when K-State appeared destined for the Holiday Bowl. The bowl’s executive director said it was planning on selecting the Wildcats. But the dominoes of college football have fallen in a way that may bump K-State up to one of the Big 12′s top four bowls.
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Sunday Rewind: K-State 31, Kansas 10

A look back at Kansas State’s 31-10 victory over Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown:


1. Kansas State made the most of its season after a 2-4 start.
The year started with an unexpected loss to North Dakota State and Big 12 play began with three straight setbacks, but none of that stopped K-State from finishing the regular season with a winning record. Thanks to a 5-1 finish, the Wildcats will spend December preparing for a respectable bowl game (most likely the Holiday Bowl, but possibly the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl). They will also head into the offseason with momentum. K-State coach Bill Snyder deserves credit for keeping his players focused after a slow start. The Wildcats are the fourth team in Big 12 history to reach bowl eligibility after a 2-4 start.

“I’m proud of the fact that they have come back,” Snyder said, “that they didn’t give into it and they tried to move in a different direction. But you remember the losses. The biggest margin was 10 points and I don’t think there was a ballgame that we played where we didn’t have our chances. That’s a frustrating experience … I appreciate the young people in our program and the kind of pride we have in each and every one of them.”

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