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Fiesta Bowl 2013: Ty Zimmerman to return to starting lineup

The junior safety missed the final two games of the season, including Kansas State's sole loss in 2012.

Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

Ty Zimmerman will be back in the lineup for the Kansas State Wildcats when they look to slow the potent Oregon offense on Thursday in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl, according to Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star.

After starting in the first 10 games of the season at safety, Zimmerman missed the final two games with a right foot injury, including a 52-24 loss to the Baylor Bears. With the exception of that loss, K-State never allowed more than 30 points.

Despite the 52 points allowed in Zimmerman's absence, K-State finished No. 24 in the nation in fewest points allowed and should have the junior safety back in the lineup on Thursday, something that he isn't taking for granted:

"I have a better appreciation for the game now," Zimmerman said. "You are one play away from being done, and then it happens. It's crazy. I just had great appreciation for the game and wanted to be back out there."

Against potent offenses like Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, Zimmerman posted a combined stat line of 45 tackles and five interceptions, leading Kansas State to victory in each. The Oregon Ducks rank second in the nation in points scored and rushing yards.