Preview: Kansas State at Arkansas

When: 3:20 PM ET, Saturday, January 2, 2016
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee




AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL STORYLINES

1. A pair of major-conference schools that are no strangers to bowl games -- Arkansas and Kansas State -- face off in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Jan. 2. The Razorbacks are in their seventh bowl game in the last nine seasons, which includes a victory over the Wildcats in the 2012 Cotton Bowl, while Kansas State is in a bowl game for the sixth straight season. Coaches Bret Bielema and Bill Snyder have plenty of experience in bowl games as well, combining for 10 victories in their 23 bowl appearances as head coaches.

2. After a 2-4 start to the season, the Razorbacks came roaring back to finish the regular season at 7-5, with the lone loss being a 51-50 shootout to Mississippi State. The Wildcats, on the other hand, had to recover with wins in their last three games just to get to 6-6, with a five-game losing streak putting them in that hole. Arkansas will look to control the clock with its running game, which averages 192.6 yards, while Kansas State's run defense will try to slow down the Razorbacks after holding opponents to 159.4 yards on the ground.

3. The two coaches in the game, Snyder and Bielema, are more than familiar with each other, having coached together with the Wildcats in 2002 and 2003. Bielema served as Snyder's co-defensive coordinator those years before moving on to Wisconsin. Both have roots with Iowa as well, where Bielema was a player, graduate assistant and linebackers coach prior to joining Snyder's staff, and Snyder spent nine seasons from 1979 to 1988 as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

TV: 3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Arkansas -13

ABOUT KANSAS STATE (6-6, 2-6 Big 12): As they head into the Liberty Bowl, the Wildcats are still unsure who will start under center, with Joe Hubener and Kody Cook both remaining options. Hubener has the gaudier stats, throwing for 1,837 yards and nine touchdowns to go with nine interceptions, while Cook, a receiver with 27 catches when he's not at quarterback, had 284 yards passing with three touchdowns and three interceptions. "We practice both of them there every single day," Snyder told reporters. "They take an equal amount of reps, which has been reasonably consistent throughout the latter stages of the season. Nothing changes there."

ABOUT ARKANSAS (7-5, 5-3 SEC): If there's one player the Razorbacks want to get going in the bowl game, it's junior running back Alex Collins, who has been on a roll in the late part of the season. Collins had six 100-yard games in SEC action this year, equalling the school record, and his 17 touchdowns are tied for second-most in Arkansas single-season history. While the Wildcats will be keying on Collins to try to slow down the Razorbacks' ground attack, look for him to get the ball plenty early in the game to try to set up the rest of the Arkansas offense.



PREDICTION: Arkansas 39, Kansas State 24

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Kansas State 6-6 W3 30.5 30.3 4-3 2-3 1-0 0-0 3-6
Arkansas 7-5 W1 35.2 27.8 4-4 3-1 2-1 0-0 5-3

Last Meeting

Kansas State Arkansas
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
1/6/12 KSU 16 ARK 29 260 87 173 345 129 216

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
KSU C. Klein 53.3 173 1 1
ARK T. Wilson 64.5 216 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
KSU C. Klein 24 42 1.8 1
ARK B. Green 7 60 8.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
KSU T. Thompson 3 57 19.0 0
ARK J. Wright 3 88 29.3 1
TDs Player TD
KSU C. Klein 1
ARK C. Hamilton 1
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
KSU J. Hubener 47.8 1837 9 9
ARK B. Allen 65.1 3125 29 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
KSU C. Jones 135 652 4.8 5
ARK A. Collins 248 1392 5.6 17
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
KSU D. Burton 34 477 14.0 4
ARK D. Morgan 55 751 13.7 10
TDs Player TD
KSU J. Hubener 13
ARK A. Collins 17

Quickchart Matchup

Kansas State Off vs  Arkansas Def
340.6 yards
404.1 yards
3.9 yards/rush
3.8 yards/rush
6.6 yards/attempt
8.3 yards/attempt
Arkansas Off vs  Kansas State Def
457.9 yards
442.5 yards
5 yards/rush
4.3 yards/rush
9.1 yards/attempt
8 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Kansas State Overall Arkansas
6-6-0 W/L 7-5-0
6-6-0 ATS 7-5-0
7-5-0 O/U 5-7-0
30.5 Pts For 35.2
30.3 Pts Against 27.8
Kansas State A/H Arkansas
2-3 W/L 4-4
3-2-0 ATS 3-5-0
3-2-0 O/U 4-4-0
32.4 Pts For 37.5
27.0 Pts Against 27.5
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