Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Preview: Will Wildcats out-fundamental Ducks?

Bill Snyder

No. 4 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 5 Kansas State Wildcats
Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)
Line: Oregon -8

Oregon is metallic uniforms, office hot tubs and, well, Oregon cheerleaders. Kansas State is cheap Cotton Bowl windbreakers, Bible study and a dude in a luchador mask.

It's Snyderball versus the Blur, for all the Tostitos.

Sexiness: Kerry Washington

Washington has no connection to either of these teams or this game. However, interest in this year's Fiesta Bowl is about as high among college football fans as moviegoers' desire to see Washington's latest flick, "Django Unchained."

A word about our sponsor…: A Frito-Lay brand, Tostitos is a popular line of tortilla chips. The Scoops, in particular, provide an appetizing, multi-functional vehicle for dip consumption.


Aces: The Ducks' kicking game is… OK, I can't. It's the offense, of course. UO ranks No. 2 in scoring offense, No. 4 in total offense and No. 2 in rushing offense (No. 1 in yards per rush).

Deuces: For a team as well-schooled as Oregon, the Ducks tend to get a little loose with the football. They fumbled the ball 27 times this season, losing 10. You're naturally going to put it on the turf more often when you run an option-based attack and as many plays as Oregon does, but that's still a lot.

Wildcard: I'm not saying Chip Kelly is leaving for the NFL, but he wasn't stopping the clock on first downs in practice the other day.

Kansas St.

Aces: Tackling. Ball security. Punt coverage. If it's a detail that everyone else skips, chances are that the Wildcats are pretty damn good at it.

Deuces: For a quarterback who threw the ball pretty efficiently this year (14th nationally in passer rating), Collin Klein won't scare many opponents with his arm. He passes the ball well enough to keep the offense moving, but he won't stretch the field.

Wildcard: If KSU does have a deep threat, it's the latest in a long series of Locketts who have played for Bill Snyder, Tyler. The speedy wide receiver also gives the Wildcats a home-run threat in the return game – he has already taken two kickoffs to the house this year.

So you don’t forget…: These two teams were actually supposed to be a regular-season game this year, but it fell through. They're like star-crossed admirers.

Crystal Ball: At first blush, this looks like your typical Oregon blowout. K-State seemingly has nowhere near enough firepower to keep up with the Ducks.

However, UO has shown in the past that fundamentally sound outfits like Snyder's team tend to give them trouble. If you stay disciplined and tackle well, you can hang with the Ducks.

It won't be enough to pull out the victory, but the Wildcats will make it interesting.

Score: Oregon 32, Kansas St. 28