The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 28, 2013

Wildcats, Wolverines set for showdown in the desert


TEMPE, Ariz. —

He attempted nine passes in three games this season and played just four games as a high school senior because of mononucleosis.

K-State’s two QBs: Instead of trying to replace Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein with one quarterback, Snyder has gone with a two-headed approach. Junior Jake Waters is the thrower, accounting for 2,198 yards and 15 touchdowns passing. Sophomore Daniel Sams is the runner, rushing for 784 yards and 11 TDs. Snyder doesn’t typically like to use two quarterbacks, but he believes Waters and Sams together give the Wildcats the best chance to win.

Stopping Mueller: With a freshman starting his first game at quarterback, Michigan will want to keep Kansas State from knocking Morris around and possibly rattling him early. Doing that will start with slowing down Wildcats defensive end Ryan Mueller. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound junior was a walk-on in 2010 who developed into one of the nation’s most disruptive defensive linemen. Mueller finished the season sixth nationally with 11 sacks and was seventh with 18.5 tackles for loss.

Bowl woes: Snyder orchestrated one of college football’s biggest turnarounds his first stint in the Little Apple and got the Wildcats back on track when he came out of retirement in 2009.

One thing he hasn’t been able to do, at least recently, is win bowl games. Kansas State enters the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on a five-game postseason losing streak that includes a 35-17 loss to Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl a year ago in the desert.

The Wildcats haven’t won a bowl game since scoring in the final 90 seconds to beat Arizona State in the 2002 Holiday Bowl.

Go-to Gallon: Fifth-year senior Jeremy Gallon has become Michigan’s go-to receiver. After catching 49 passes last season, Gallon had 80 receptions this year, which is 33 more than anyone else on the team.

He has 1,284 yards receiving and nine touchdowns and accounted for the Wolverines’ four longest plays from scrimmage, including an 84-yard catch from Gardner against Ohio State.

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