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Fiesta Bowl 2013: Kansas State defense will stick to basics against Oregon

The Kansas State defense will stick to basics when it attempts to stop the high-powered Oregon Ducks attack on Jan. 3 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.


The Kansas State Wildcats (11-1) face the Oregon Ducks (11-1) in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3, in perhaps the best bowl matchup this season outside of the BCS Championship Game. The Big 12 champion Wildcats are the No. 5 team in the BCS standings, while the Ducks are ranked No. 4.

The key for Kansas State in the game will be slowing down Oregon's high-powered offense. Head coach Bill Snyder and defensive coordinator Tom Hayes say they will stick to the basics defensively against Chip Kelly's well-oiled offensive machine. Via The Wichita Eagle's Kansas State blog:

"We are not going to gimmick and do a bunch of crazy things," Hayes said. "Several of these teams that have gotten in trouble against Oregon gimmicked and got caught out of gaps - woosh, 50, 70 right over the top - misreads, misexecution if you will. Hopefully we stay away from that."

Oregon scored at least 40 points in every game this year except their loss to Stanford. The Ducks were third in the country in rushing yards at 323.3 per game, and finished second nationally in scoring (50.8 points per game).

The Wildcats defense was stout this year against the run, excluding the loss to Baylor that cost Kansas State a chance at the national championship. The Wildcats held all non-Baylor opponents to just 99.3 yards rushing per game. Kansas State also forced 31 turnovers this season.

This will be the first time Oregon and Kansas State have squared off. It's the eighth consecutive bowl appearance for the Ducks. The Wildcats have lost their last four bowl games since 2002.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on Jan. 3 from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.