OK, this one might actually be interesting…
The History: The Tositos Fiesta Bowl has been a staple in Glendale, AZ for 42 years. A group from Arizona State originally pitched the idea to the NCAA in 1968 but the NCAA rejected the proposal. One year later the NCAA approved the bowl as part of their annnual bowl games. The Fiesta Bowl is played at The University of Phoenix Stadium and has hosted 7 National Championship games (Does anyone remember 2002?) since it was first played in 1971. Not only is this Fiesta Bowl important to college footbal, it is important to the Glendale area. Over a 5 year span the bowl has generated over $1 Billion in the Glendale economy.
Oregon Scouting Report: Chip Kelly once again has his Ducks offense in the Top 5 in the nation. Freshman QB Marcus Mariota leads the Ducks on the field by completing 69.9% of his passes for 2,511 yards. He has 30 touchdowns while only throwing 6 interceptions. His supporting cast is RB Kanjon Barner who rushes 135.3 yards/game. On the season he has contributed with 1,624 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns. LB Dion Jordan will look to stop the Wildcats with his team leading 44 tackles, 10.5 stops for loss, and 5 sacks.
Buckeye Connection: The Buckeyes have never lost to an Oregon Duck squad. They have faced off 8 times with the most recent being a Buckeye Rose Bowl win in 2010 by a score of 26-17.
Kansas State Scouting Report: Bill Snyder has put together an offense that can rival Oregon’s. QB Collin Klein was a Heisman Finalist that does damage with his arm and legs. He rushed for 890 yards and 22 touchdowns while throwing for 2,490 yards and 15 touchdowns. When Klein is throwing the ball, his favorite target is WR Chris Harper. Harper had 50 catches on the season for 786 yards and 3 touchdowns. DE Meshak Williams is the leader on defense with 8.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.
Buckeye Connection: The Buckeyes and Wildcats have only met once in history. That came in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl with Ohio State winning 35-28.
Prediction: Oregon comes into the game averaging 50.8 points per game while Kansas State is averaging a total of 40.7 points per game. Most likely both offenses will be too much for either defense to handle. The key to this game is probably going to be at the running back position. Oregon has a better RB in Kanjon Barner and when you combine that with Marcus Mariota’s passing ability it will be too much for Kansas State. Oregon wins in a shootout. Oregon 51, Kansas State 45