Cotton Bowl 2012: Kansas State Wildcats vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats vs. No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks
Friday, 1/6/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Arkansas -7.5
Current Betting Line:  Arkansas -8.5
Opening Total:  64
Current Total:  63.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Kansas State Wildcats are always a dangerous underdog

Kansas State is set to meet Arkansas during the postseason for the first time and just fifth time overall Friday night inside Cowboys Stadium in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl.  The Wildcats will be playing their 15th overall bowl game, with 13 of those coming under the direction of head coach Bill Snyder.  “We don’t have no five-star recruits, four-star recruits,” stated Wildcats cornerback David Garrett.  “We just stick together and do our role.”  The program went 7-6 during the 2010 campaign and dropped a 36-34 contest to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl.  Kansas State is 7-1 ATS as a underdog of 3.5 to 10 points.

The Wildcats are looking to capture their first postseason victory since 2002, picking up a win over the Arizona State Sun Devils in the Holiday Bowl.  Junior quarterback Collin Klein is the key player, ranking second nationally among BCS signal-callers in gaining 1,099 rushing yards.  On the defensive side of the ball, Kansas State finished the regular season ranked seventh nationally with a +13 turnover margin, while possessing the 27th-ranked rush defense.

Arkansas will make its 39th trip to a postseason bowl game and has produced a 12-23-3 record in such contests.  The Razorbacks have undergone some coaching changes since the regular season ended, as Paul Petrino will be the offensive coordinator for tonight’s game, while Paul Haynes will handle the defensive side of the ball.  “We’ve got a mature team, and that helps a lot,” stated Razorbacks head coach Bobby Petrino.  “I put more on the players.”  The program is 20-5 over its last 25 games, and has registered consecutive 10-win seasons for just the third time in school history.  Arkansas is 3-0 ATS versus Big 12 opponents the last two-plus years.

The Razorbacks managed to score 47 of 54 times when reaching the red zone this season, while quarterback Tyler Wilson was only the second player in school history to pass for 3,000 or more yards in a season.  He leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks 14th nationally with an average of 285.2 passing yards per game.  His main targets are Jarius Wright and Joe Adams, as both earned first-team All-SEC honors this season.  Wright led the conference with an average of 93.5 receiving yards per game, while Adams averaged 4.1 catches per game.

Bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 7-1 ATS mark as an underdog, while the Razorbacks are 0-4 ATS in bowl games.

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