Although they were favorites to contend for a Big Ten title in 2013, the Michigan Wolverines have fallen flat on their faces and have looked like an average team at best. Sitting at 7-5 after losing five of its last seven games of the season, Michigan has landed itself in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
On the other side of the field, the Kansas State Wildcats had a bit of a down year after a solid season a year ago with a Heisman-caliber player at quarterback. A 7-5 record was enough to land them a matchup with one of the Big Ten’s top teams, but the Wildcats are on fire, winning five of their last six games.
Michigan has been extremely turnover prone with Devin Gardner at quarterback this season. While that has led to some offensive struggled, the junior quarterback has passed for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns while running for another 483 yards and 11 touchdowns. Jeremy Gallon has been a dangerous weapon on offense, catching 80 passes for 1,284 yards and nine touchdowns while Devin Funchess has been one of the best tight ends in the nation, catching 47 passes for 727 yards and six touchdowns.
Kansas State was led by a Heisman-caliber QB a season ago, but the offense has struggled a bit in the pass game in 2013, ranking 73rd in the nation in passing yards per contest. Jake Waters leads the pass game with 2,198 yards and 15 touchdowns with a near-60 percent completion rate and nine interceptions. Tyler Lockett is the team’s top weapon in the receiving game, catching 71 passes for 1,146 yards and eight touchdowns. John Hubert leads the run game with 968 yards and nine touchdowns.
Defensively, Michigan has struggled to keep teams out of the endzone, ranking 64th in points allowed per game while also ranking 29th in yards allowed per game. Kansas State is nearly the exact same on defense, however it ranks much better in points allowed per game at 36th, but is just one place higher in yards allowed per game at 28th.
Michigan and Kansas State will face off in the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., at 10:15 p.m. EST on Saturday, Dec. 28. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Michigan 28, Kansas State 17
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.