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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
By: Staff  Writer - AP
Published: 12/27/2013  at  11:28:40 AM
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Michigan (7-5) vs. Kansas State (7-5), 10:15 p.m. (ESPN).

Line: Kansas State by 4 1/2.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Kansas State is trying to keep its momentum going after surging at the end of the season, while Michigan is looking to end on a good note after faltering. The Wildcats lost four of their first six games before going 5-1 down the stretch and are trying to end a five-game bowl losing streak. The Wolverines opened 6-1 and lost four of their final five games.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan's rushing offense against Kansas State's defense. The Wolverines will be starting a quarterback who has attempted nine career passes, so they'll need to find some kind of run game to take the pressure off. Michigan was dreadful running the ball during the regular season, finishing 101st in the FBS with 130.8 yards per game, its worst season rushing in over a decade.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan: QB Shane Morris. The freshman will be thrust into the spotlight with starter Devin Gardner out because of a toe injury. Morris played just four games as a senior in high school because of mononucleosis and saw limited action his first college season, getting in three games for mop-up duty.

Kansas State: DE Ryan Mueller. A disruptive force on the line, he finished sixth nationally with 11 sacks and seventh in tackles for loss at 18.5. If he can get to Morris a couple of times early, it could be a long day for the Wolverines.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan is playing in a bowl for the 37th time in 39 years, including four straight. ... Kansas State is in its fourth consecutive bowl game but looking for its first postseason win since the 2002 Holiday Bowl. ... Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon is a big-play threat, evidenced by his Big Ten record 369 yards receiving against Indiana on Oct. 19. ... Kansas State led the Big 12 and was among the national leaders in converting third downs at 47 percent. ... Michigan's Devin Funchess had 727 yards receiving this season, most ever by a Wolverines tight end. ... Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett led the Big 12 and was 14th nationally with 151.4 all-purpose yards per game.

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