The Cactus Bowl is the third of three bowl games played today. It features the Kansas State Wildcats (7-5) at the UCLA Bruins (6-6). Kansas State comes to this game having won four of their last five and finishing sixth in the Big 12 with a 5-4 record. The Bruins were 3-2 in their final five and ended up fourth in the Pac-12 South with a 4-5 record. Our Kansas State plays UCLA 2017 Cactus Bowl pick has the Wildcats at -6.5 and the over/under at 62.0.
Kansas State Overview
Kansas State, which is averaging 32.1 PPG, has a dynamite running game and an adequate pass attack. Skylar Thompson (63.2 COMP%, 5 TDs, 2 INTs) looks to start at quarterback for the Wildcats. His two main receivers will be Isaiah Zuber (51 REC, 510 YDs, 10.0 AVG, 4 TDs) and Byron Pringle (28 REC, 705 YDs, 25.2 AVG, 6 TDs). We expect RBs Alex Barnes and Alex Delton to get the ball quite a bit tonight. They have six and five TDs respectively and Barnes has accumulated 702 yards while averaging 5.2 YPA. The Wildcats are holding opponents to 25.8 PPG. Their defense is solid versus the run, but they do offer up a lot of yards to the air attack. This season opponents averaged 310 YPG in passing.
- Running game will be primary offense weapon
- D needs to buckle down on pass D
- QB Thompson needs to be wary of mistakes
The Bruins are scoring 33.8 PPG with 349 of their 466 offensive yards per game being attributed to their passing game. Starting QB Josh Rosen is out with a shoulder injury and that means that Devon Modster will get the start. Modster has tossed 45 passes this season, completing 30 of them for 376 yards and two TDs. He has not tossed an INT. Four players on UCLA have 38 catches of more with Jordan Lasley and Darren Andrews being the two primary pass catchers. RBs Bolu Olorunfunmi and Soso Jamabo will be the teams rushing tandem. Of the two, Olorunfunmi has the most carries (105) and yards (542) and the best YPA average, 5.2. UCLA has a very tough time stopping the run. They’re allowing teams and average of 283 YPG on the ground. The defense is giving up on average 36.8 PPG, and both their weak run D and the points allowed could mean trouble for the Bruins in this game.
- Star QB is out
- Great receiving group
- Defense can meltdown
Three Cactus Bowl Takeaways
Here are our three major takeaways for our Kansas State plays UCLA 2017 Cactus Bowl pick-
- Offenses fairly even
- Defense edge to Kansas State
- QB Rosen out
Our Cactus Bowl Pick
Our Kansas State plays UCLA 2017 Cactus Bowl pick is the Wildcats at -6.5. We thing their D will control the Bruins to some degree and, at the same time the Cat offense will run over UCLA. We do expect the Bruins to score, but how much is the big question? Take the under at 62.0.