Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Preview, Predictions, TV info

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

What: Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Who: Kansas State (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) vs. Michigan (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten)

When: Saturday, December 28, 10:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Where: Sun Devil Stadium (71,000), Tempe, Ariz.

Opening Line: Kansas State -3

What matters: Both of these teams took a step back in 2013. The last two years saw Kansas State playing in the Cotton and Fiesta Bowls while two years ago Michigan was winning itself a Sugar Bowl. That being said, I'd bet Kansas State is happier to be heading to Tempe than Michigan is. That's because after getting off to a 2-4 start to the season the Wildcats won five of their last six games. Meanwhile Michigan comes into this game as losers of five of its last seven.

Who matters: He's not a player, but the single most important person in this game could be Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges. Will he bring a gameplan like the one that led to Michigan putting up 600 yards and 40 points on Ohio State, or will he bring the gameplan that saw Michigan struggle in other games. As for players, the two biggest playmakers on either offense are receivers Tyler Lockett and Jeremy Gallon. The two are big plays waiting to happen.

Matchup question: How will the Michigan offensive line hold up? Michigan had trouble getting a running game going just about all season long, and at times could not protect Devin Gardner. Considering that Kansas State's defense has Ryan Mueller, who had 18.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, pass protection will be a key in this game. As will opening holes and getting to the second level to take on Wildcat linebackers Blake Slaughter and Jonathan Truman.

Prediction: Kansas State 31, Michigan 20.

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