The 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational presented by STAT BOX STORIES continues with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, which sees the #4 Oregon Ducks (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) taking on the #5 Kansas State Wildcats (11-1, 8-1 Big 12). Jeremy Bennett of The Gaming Tailgate suited up as the designated home team and Big 12 Conference Champions looking to score a minor upset in this BCS Bowl Game.
Surprising defensive struggle in Fiesta Bowl ends with Kansas State prevailing over Ducks
The 2013 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is definitely a powerhouse match-up. Both the Oregon Ducks and Kansas State Wildcats were BCS Title contenders for most of the year. Unfortunately for Kansas State, they were stomped by Baylor late in the season, and with it the Heisman hopes for QB #7 (who finished 3rd in the voting). Oregon lost to Stanford in overtime late in the season in a heartbreaking game that also effectively took them out of the national title picture. The surprising losses of both schools late opened the door for a 1-loss Alabama team to get back into the title picture. Oregon ranks 2nd in the nation with 50.8 points per game; while K-State ranks 8th at 40.7 points per game. Buckle those seatbelts tight, as it might be a wild ride.
That wild ride that seemed to be almost inevitable turned into a very tame ride as the entire first quarter was completely scoreless. The second quarter was the highest scoring quarter of the game, and it was led not by the legs of K-State’s QB #7, but by Oregon’s QB #2; who had a few great runs and passes that lead to the first score of the game early in the second quarter. The Wildcat defense would start to get to the quarterback throughout the second quarter with a total of three sacks laid on him in the quarter, with the third sack knocking him out of the game. Oregon tacked on a field goal in the middle of the second quarter. Finally, the K-State offense would start to wake up on the back of HB #33, and a superb 14 yard touchdown run by QB #7 on a read option, as he has done all year long. Going into halftime, the score would be 10-7 Oregon.
With QB #2 on the sidelines for the rest of the game, the entire second half belonged to Kansas State. The backup QB could only muster 48 yards passing on 8 completions. Even though the offense of Oregon was sputtering, the defense was holding up their end. K-State’s QB #7 had some great runs, but he would only total 42 yards due to three big sacks by the Oregon defense. Only a field goal was scored in the 3rd quarter to even up the score at 10. The Oregon offense would continue to sputter in the fourth quarter, and with four minutes to go in the game, QB #7 for K-State launched a 61-yard touchdown pass to WR #86 to get the Wildcats their first lead of the game. It was expected that we would see several of these long touchdown plays in this game, but ironically enough, the only one of this game would be the deciding one as Kansas State takes the 2013 Fiesta Bowl 17-10.
Player of the Game: QB #7 with 201 yards passing, 42 yards rushing, and 2 total touchdowns (1 rush).
It was over when…: QB #7 completed a 61-yard pass to WR #86 for the only big touchdown play of the game.
Game Ball goes to: QB #7 and HB #33 for combining for 34 total carries and 145 total yards to steady the K-State offense when the passing game was not working.
Stat of the Game: 10 points by Oregon was the second time this season Oregon failed to score 40, both were losses.
Statistical Tidbits: This Fiesta Bowl was tied for the second lowest scoring Fiesta Bowl in the past 30 years, matching Boise State & TCU (27 points, 2010), and only trailing Penn State & Miami (24 points, 1987).