Oregon knocked all of its opponents out in one or two rounds of relentless, blinding hay-makers except for one fateful night in Eugene. Kansas State grounded all of its opponents into dust, except for one fateful night in Waco. Now two teams that fell just short of a trip to Miami seek a desirable consolation prize tonight in Glendale in the Fiesta Bowl (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
They say styles make fights and, tonight at least, they may be right. These squads' attacks compliment each other nicely to create what should be a competitive, up-and-down affair. Kansas State likes to take its time while working down the field (19th nationally in time of possession) while Oregon wastes no time from snap to snap, ranking 100th in time of possession.
That doesn't mean Kansas State's offense is a plodding one. In fact, Bill Snyder's team was actually slightly more efficient this fall. The Wildcats produced 488 points on 771 plays (1 point for every 1.58 plays) to the Ducks' registered 610 points on 989 plays (1 point for every 1.62 plays).
A great deal of that efficiency stems from Kansas State's defense and special teams. The Wildcats are among the nation's leaders in turnover margin and average starting field position while also creating six non-offensive touchdowns.
A defensive score or two would go a long way against a Chip Kelly-coached squad that has been held under 42 points exactly once this season. And while Kansas State may lead the nation in turnover margin, Oregon is just two steps behind, ranking No. 3 nationally with 38 turnovers gained against 19 lost.