PHOENIX, AZ -
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Saturday, December 28, 2013: (7-5) Kansas State vs. (7-5) Michigan
Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe: 8:15P.M. ESPN
The Michigan Wolverines come into the game riding a two game losing streak and have lost four of their last five games to finish the regular season at 7-5.
The Wolverines one win during the final five games was a triple overtime (27-19) win over Northwestern in Ann Arbor.
Meanwhile, the Kansas State Wildcats have won five of their last six games and beat up on 25th ranked Texas Tech 49-26. The Wildcats are also 7-5 but they've played much better since early October, losing just one game since then, at 41-31 loss to Oklahoma.
The exciting thing about the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is that this is the first ever meeting between Michigan and Kansas State and folks on the outside consider this game to be one of the best bowl match-ups of the year.
There is trouble for the Wolverines as they head into Saturday's game: Coach Hole announced today that starting quarterback Devin Gardner is out with a turf toe injury so Michigan will start freshman Shane Morris.
But even though Morris has thrown just 9 passes for 65 yards, the Wolverines still have Jeremy Gallon at wide receiver who caught 80 passes this season for 1,284 yards and nine touchdowns.
Michigan also has running back Fitzgerald Toussaint who has carried the ball 183 times for 646 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.
The Wolverines also finished the regular season averaging 33.8 points per game, good enough for 37th in the FBS.
Kansas State is just behind Michigan when it comes to scoring points, averaging 33.4 points per game even though the Wildcats use two different quarterbacks; Junior Jake Waters and Sophomore Daniel Sims. Waters finished with 2,198 yards and 15 touchdowns while Sims threw just 52 passes but ran for 784 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Senior running back John Hubert leads the team in rushing with 968 yards on 182 carries and nine TD's.
Defensively, the Wolverines are led by linebacker James Ross III and defensive back Raymon Taylor, both finishing the regular season with 81 total tackles.
The Wildcats are led by senior linebacker Blake Slaughter who finished the regular season with 103 tackles, three sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Junior Defensive End Ryan Mueller has 18 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks so far this season.
Michigan Coach Brady Hoke says this will be a great game and his Wolverines are ready for the challenge, "This is a great opportunity for our team, and we relish the chance to play one of college football's most successful programs."
Meanwhile Kansas State coach Bill Snyder says it's Michigan, enough said. "No. 1, it is just Michigan," Snyder said. "I know there is talk about trying to get back to the `old Michigan,' and it is evident. You can see it on tape."