Game to be played at NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
A pair of former conference rivals square off in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl on Dec. 28 in Houston, where Texas A&M faces Kansas State. The Aggies limp into this contest after losing four of their final six games, including an ugly 54-39 setback to LSU in the regular-season finale. Kansas State, meanwhile, has won five of its last six with the only loss a late collapse against a quality Oklahoma State squad.
One of the key matchups to watch is the Kansas State rushing attack against the Texas A&M run defense. The Wildcats ran for nearly 2,800 yards and 36 touchdowns as a team with each of their top five runners averaging at least five yards per carry. Quarterback Jesse Ertz (945 yards) should see plenty of action on the ground against an Aggies squad that allowed at least 250 rushing yards in four of their final five games against Power 5 conference teams.
Texas A&M leads the all-time series 8-7, but Kansas State has won the last three meetings (all when the teams were members of the Big 12). The most recent matchup was a four-overtime triumph in 2011 that helped the Wildcats earn bowl eligibility under legendary coach Bill Snyder, who is set to embark on his 19th postseason appearance with the Wildcats. The bad news for Kansas State is that despite the win over Texas A&M, it went on to lose its bowl game that season – part of a 1-7 mark in bowl games since 2004.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN.
LINE HISTORY: Oddsmakers opened Texas A&M as 2-point favorites and they have been bet up slightly to the current number of Aggies -2.5. The total hit the board at 56.5 and was bet up to 57.5, before returning to the opening number. Check out the complete line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: Indoors.
Texas A&M – QB T. Knight (probable Wednesday, knee), DB A. Watts (questionable Wednesday, leg), QB J. Hubenak (questionable Wednesday, shoulder).
Kansas State – K M. McCrane (questionable Wednesday, hip), DB D. Shelley (questionable Wednesday, foot), OL A. Beecham (questionable Wednesday, undisclosed), RB A. Barnes (questionable Wednesday, stinger).
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (8-4, 4-8 ATS, 4-7-1 O/U): The Aggies allowed Derrius Guice to run for an LSU-record 285 yards in the regular-season finale, but they also couldn’t stop the Tigers’ passing game as Danny Etling torched their secondary for 324 yards and two scores. “We were 6-0 and No. 4 in polls at one point. Here we are three weeks later, and we are unranked (in College Football Playoff rankings). That is disappointing,” said quarterback Trevor Knight (16 passing TDs, 10 rushing), who hasn’t thrown for 250 yards in a game since early September, although Trayveon Williams (1,024 rushing yards, eight TDs) gives the team plenty of offensive balance. First-team All-American defensive end Myles Garrett (8.5 sacks) is a force who could end up as the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft.
ABOUT KANSAS STATE (8-4, 5-7 ATS, 6-6 O/U): The Wildcats don’t get much help from their passing attack, as Ertz’s season high is 207 passing yards and he only has eight TD passes on the year. However, the junior has 10 rushing scores – second on the team behind Winston Dimel’s 12 – and gets plenty of help from Charles Jones (577 yards), Alex Barnes (442) and Justin Silmon (387). Kansas State’s defense is trending in the right direction, as the team has allowed decreasing point totals in four straight games – 43, 21, 19 and most recently six points in its regular season-ending win against TCU.
* Texas A&M is 0-8 ATS in its last eight games overall.
* Kansas State is 1-7 ATS in its last eigght bowl games.
* Under is 5-0-1 in Texas A&M’s last six non-conference games.
* Over is 4-1 in Kansas State’s last five games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Another bowl game, another game where the public is siding with the favorite, with 55 percent of wagers on Texas A&M. As for the total, a sizeable 64 percent of wagers are on the Over. Click here for in depth consensus data.