Alabama vs Kansas State prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. Allstate Sugar Bowl, Saturday, December 31
Alabama vs Kansas State Allstate Sugar Bowl Prediction Game Preview
Alabama vs Kansas State How To Watch
Date: Saturday, December 31
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Alabama (10-2), Kansas State (10-3)
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Alabama vs Kansas State Allstate Sugar Bowl 5 Things To Know
– By any normal standards it’s been a wonderful football season for Alabama. It blew out its arch rival Auburn, won ten games, made it to the Sugar Bowl, and came up with a thrilling win over Texas on the road. The two losses were this close to going the other way – losing on walk-offs at Tennessee and LSU – and …
It was a total disaster. Starting with losing the College Football Playoff National Championship to Georgia, 2022 has been a rough year for the Tide – at least by its own unreasonable-yet-attainable standards. But it just came up with a massive recruiting class, there’s a ton of big-time talent coming back, and now there’s a shot at closing out the calendar year with something big.
The stars are here – the NFL guys are supposed to play in this. Bama isn’t 100% operational – a slew of parts are in the transfer portal – but the starting 22 will be fine. The same goes for …
– Kansas State gets almost everyone of note back. The Big 12 champion won ten games, held on to take down TCU in the conference title game, beat its rival Kansas, and now it gets a shot to do something massive with a Sugar Bowl win over Bama.
It’s a rock-solid team that doesn’t beat itself, plays a hard-nosed brand of defense – the D was the best in the Big 12 – and owns the turnover battle. It’s hardly going to freak out just because it’s playing Alabama.
– This is the third bowl appearance for the Wildcats under head coach Chris Klieman. Last year’s team walked over a depleted LSU in a sad Texas Bowl, and the 2019 version couldn’t get past Navy in the Liberty. However, the program has won three of its last four bowls.
– How’s this for a bowl run for Alabama? Since closing out the 1975 season with a Sugar Bowl win over Penn State, it’s 34-14 with the last three losses coming in the College Football Playoff National Championship. How do you know your program is doing well? This is Alabama’s 15th bowl/national championship game in nine years of the CFP era.
– Can we get a good Sugar Bowl? The Ohio State College Football Playoff win over Alabama in 2014 was exciting, and the Texas win over Georgia at the end of the 2018 season was interesting – even though the Bulldogs didn’t seem to wake up until it was too late.
Eight of the last ten, though, have been decided by double-digits, including last year’s depressing- it took on a different tone after QB Matt Corral was injured – Baylor 21-7 win over Ole Miss.
CFN Experts CFP, NY6, Dec 28-Jan 2
Why Alabama Will Win The Allstate Sugar Bowl
Alabama has its guys.
If everything goes according to plan, QB Bryce Young and Edge rusher Will Anderson will be out there. Most of the main skill parts will be there, the defense has a little something to prove, and the team – sort of like the 35-16 win over Michigan in the 2020 Citrus – should show up and flex a little muscle.
It starts by holding up on the defensive front.
Kansas State can throw just fine with Will Howard at quarterback, but it really gets rolling when it controls games with the rushing attack, going 7-0 when coming up with 199 yards or more.
The Tide might have their problems defensively, but only five teams were able to get past 80 yards on the ground. With the time off to rest up and prepare, this group will be swarming all over Deuce Vaughn and …
Why Kansas State Will Win The Allstate Sugar Bowl
Kansas State doesn’t get enough appreciation for its offensive balance.
The defense is strong, the offense can keep things moving, and it’s Kansas State, the special teams are solid. Most impressively, 2,737 yards passing, 2,725 yards rushing, and Bama has to prepare for all of it.
This isn’t exactly a vintage Crimson Tide defense.
It’s very, very good – and elite by most normal standards – but Auburn was able to run way too easily on it, Hendon Hooker almost won the Heisman as he carried Tennessee to a win, and LSU averaged over five yards per carry in its victory. The offense should be able to mix it up, the offensive line will hold its own, and the time of possession will matter.
On the other side, Alabama might have Bryce Young, and the offense is deadly no matter what, but it doesn’t have the high-end wide receivers to make the K-State secondary sweat.
Basically, Kansas State has to be Kansas State. It has to win the turnover battle, penalties won’t be a problem, and it should be its normal frustrating self with the defense holding up just fine on third downs.