UCLA (6-6) vs. Kansas State (7-5)
Tuesday, Dec. 26 |6 p.m. PT | Chase Field, Phoenix
Radio: AM 570/AM 1150
While UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen’s collegiate career could only have one more game left, Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson’s is just getting started.
After starting the year as the third-string quarterback, the redshirt freshman led the Wildcats to four wins in their final five games. The dual-threat signal-caller is already developing a reputation for late-game heroics:
- He ran in a game-sealing touchdown against Kansas with 1:21 to go as K-State won 30-20
- He threw the game-winning touchdown in overtime against Texas Tech (42-35)
- He led an 87-yard touchdown drive in less than two minutes, capped off by a 1-yard pass with no time left, to beat Iowa State 20-19 in the regular-season finale.
For good measure, Thompson also threw three touchdowns in an upset over No. 10 Oklahoma State, all to junior receiver Byron Pringle, whose 25.2 yards per reception leads the country.
Kansas State’s 186.7 rushing yards per game ranks second in the Big 12, but the Wildcats’ leading rusher Alex Barnes averages only 58.5 yards per game. Thompson is a running threat at quarterback and averages 4.1 yards per rush.
On defense, the Wildcats are stout up front with the 20th-best rushing defense in the country, allowing 121.8 yards per game. The line is anchored by senior defensive tackle Will Geary, who was a first-team All-Big-12 selection. D.J. Reed, another first-team all-conference player, leads the secondary with four interceptions. Continue reading “First look: UCLA vs. Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl” »