MANHATTAN, Kan. – The K-State Nation is heading back to the Valley of the Sun for the second straight year as Kansas State Athletics Director John Currie announced today that the Wildcats have accepted an invitation to play Michigan in the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on December 28.
The game, which will be K-State’s third trip to the bowl following its 1993 Copper Bowl and 2001 Insight.com Bowl appearances, will be played at Sun Devil Stadium at 9:15 p.m. CT, with a nationwide television audience watching on ESPN.
“On behalf of President Schulz, Coach Snyder, our football program and all of Wildcat Nation, we are thrilled to be heading back to Arizona and representing the Big 12 Conference in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl,” said Currie. “The chance for our university and football brands to be showcased nationally on ESPN against a terrific program and brand in Michigan is a tremendous opportunity, and the experience our student-athletes, band members, cheerleaders and fans will have in Tempe will be world-class.”
K-State is 1-1 all-time in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (formerly Copper and Insight.com) and last appeared in the game back in 2001. The Wildcats are also 1-1 all-time in bowl games played at Sun Devil Stadium following a win in the 1997 Fiesta Bowl and loss in the 2004 edition of the game.
The Wildcats (7-5) will be playing in their 17th bowl game in school history and 15th under Bill Snyder as the Cats are 6-8 all-time in bowls under the legendary head coach. Following 11 straight bowls from 1993-2003 under Snyder, the Cats have now gone bowling in each of the last four seasons following last year’s berth in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl and the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl in 2010.
“We are so very proud of the young men in our program, and we are honored and very pleased to represent the Big 12 Conference in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl,” said Snyder. “We had over 30,000 K-Staters in attendance last year in Arizona and know that the K-State family will once again show their passion and support for our program. The Buffalo Wild Wings/Fiesta Bowl is a first-class organization. We appreciate Chairman Brian Hall, Executive Director Robert Shelton and the entire bowl staff for their efforts and support of our student-athletes, coaches and fans. In our many bowl trips to the Phoenix area, we have greatly appreciated the warm and gracious hospitality given to us by the bowl organization and entire community.”
K-State showed tremendous perseverance and toughness in 2013 to qualify for its fourth straight bowl game. After starting the season 2-4, the Wildcats reeled off four straight Big 12 Conference wins to become bowl eligible and ended the season with their fifth-straight win over in-state rival KU to get to 7-5. All five losses were by 10 points or less, and the Wildcats held fourth-quarter leads in the three of those contests.
Also, K-State became just the fourth Big 12 team ever to become bowl eligible after starting a season 2-4. In fact, only 8-percent of all FBS schools in the BCS era (48/597) started a season 2-4 or worse and reached a bowl game prior to the 2013 Wildcats.
Excitement surrounding the 2013 Wildcat football team was also evidenced by eight sell-out crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium this season and new season school records for total and average attendance. Dating back to last season, K-State is currently riding a streak of 13 consecutive sellouts at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
“It’s always an honor to be selected for a bowl game, but it’s a privilege to be asked to return to the Phoenix/Tempe area this year,” said K-State President Kirk Schulz. “I couldn’t be more proud of Coach Snyder, our players and the rest of the football program. They persevered through the season from the start and have the awesome opportunity to end with an appearance in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.”
The Cats will take on a Michigan team that also finished 7-5 on the season and are led by dynamic quarterback Devin Gardner, who has thrown for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 11 more scores.
K-State and Michigan have never met previously on the football field.
K-State’s seating allotment for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl includes a total of 11,000 tickets. All fans who placed a pre-order will receive the number of tickets that were requested. The K-State Athletics Ticket Office will work over the next week to assign specific seats based on the athletic department priority points and mail pre-ordered tickets. Detailed information regarding bowl ticket order fulfillment has been emailed to fans who placed a pre-order.
Public tickets for K-State fans who did not place a pre-order are available now at the K-State Online Ticket Office at www.kstatesports.com and through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum or via phone at 1-800-221-CATS beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Monday. Fans are strongly encouraged to order through K-State’s official allotment to ensure that all Wildcat fans are seated in the official K-State sections of the stadium. The location for K-State’s ticket allotment at Sun Devil Stadium is among the best of any bowl game with prime seating locations.
The K-State Alumni Association will also provide official travel packages to the bowl game. Visit the Alumni Association’s official bowl travel page – www.k-statesportstravel.com – for travel package information.