2012 Cotton Bowl Preview

Written by rocketman | January 2, 2012

2012 Cotton Bowl Preview

Two of the top teams in two of the Big Six conferences will renew
acquaintances for the first time in more than 80 years when Big 12
Conference runner-up Kansas State takes on SEC West Division runner-up
Arkansas in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

This is the 5th time all-time that these two teams have met, but all
four previous meetings were between 1910 and 1926, with K-State holding a
3-1 advantage.

Our latest Cotton Bowl odds list Arkansas as 7.5-point favorites, while the total (over/under) has been posted at 62.5 points.

Kansas State

Kansas State got off to a blistering-hot start, winning their first
seven games of the season. The Wildcats then dropped two in a row before
finishing out the season with three-straight victories. K-State enters
the game with a 4-1 road record, their lone loss coming to a Oklahoma
State.

Kansas State ranks 30th in the nation in scoring offense (33 points
per game) while recording 344 yards per game (194 rushing, 150 passing).

Collin Klein runs this offense by leading the running game with 1,099
yards and 26 touchdowns on 3.8 yards per carry and completing 58
percent of his passes for 1,745 yards and 12 touchdowns with five
interceptions. The offensive line has allowed 36 sacks.

When Klein hands off, his top running mate is John Hubert with 933
yards and three TDs on 5.0 yards per carry. When Klein throws, his top
receiving target is Chris Harper with 39 catches (16 more than anyone
else) for 536 yards and five TDs.

On defense, K-State ranks 71st in the country in scoring defense (28
ppg) and surrender 399 yards per game (267 passing, 132 rushing) and
recording 19 sacks and forcing 26 turnovers three of which have been
returned for TDs (Nigel Malone, David Garrett and Allen Chapman,
interceptions).

Arthur Brown leads the unit with 95 tackles, Meshak Williams paces
the group with seven sacks. Malone has seven interceptions, Garrett has
two fumble recoveries, Emmanuel Lamur has two forced fumbles and Raphael
Guidry has four blocked kicks.

Arkansas

The Razorbacks had won seven straight games to be a threat to derail
LSU’s national-title dreams, but they closed their regular season with a
41-17 loss at LSU to finish third in the SEC West (6-2). The Razorbacks
were 3-2 away from home, with the only losses at Alabama and LSU.

Offensively, the Razorbacks rank15th in the nation in scoring offense
(37 ppg), compiling 446 yards per game (308 passing, 138 rushing).

Tyler Wilson completes 63 percent of his passes for 3,422 yards and
22 TDs with six INTs. The offensive line has allowed 25 sacks. Jarius
Wright is the top receiver with 63 receptions (14 more than anyone else)
for 1,029 yards and 11 TDs, while Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo Jr.
anchor the running game with a combined 1,077 yards and six TDs on 5.5
yards per carry.

Arkansas enters the game ranked 37th in the country in scoring
defense (23 ppg) and gives up 371 yards per game (197 passing, 174
rushing) while recording 22 sacks and forcing 19 turnovers two of which
were returned for TDs (Jerry Franklin and Alonzo Highsmith, fumbles).

Franklin leads the unit with 93 tackles and two fumble recoveries,
while Jake Bequette has eight sacks and four forced fumbles. Tramain
Thomas has five interceptions to go with 87 tackles.

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