Ducks Going to Fiesta Bowl

The University of Oregon accepted an invitation to the 42 annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, to be played on Jan. 3, 2013 in Glendale, Ariz., facing the the Big 12 Conference Champion, Kansas State. Both teams are 11-1 for the season. Oregon was selected based on its BCS ranking at No. 4; Kansas State is ranked No. 5.

Kickoff for the Thursday night contest to be televised by ESPN in University of Phoenix Stadium is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PST as the two schools will face one another for the first time ever on the football field.

The game is the fourth straight BCS Bowl game appearance for Oregon during the Chip Kelly-era. Oregon also appeared in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl, beating Colorado, 38-16. Oregon won the Rose Bowl last season over Wisconsin 45-3 Ducks played at the University of Phoenix Stadium two years in the BCS Championship game but lost to Auburn, 22-19.

Oregon's four straight BCS Bowls is the longest actve streak in the country and is only one of four programs to have four or more consecutive BCS Bowl appearances since the current system started in 1998.

According to a media release from the Oregon Athletic Department the game is expected "to feature on between two offense that have been fueled by a pair of outstanding quarterbacks as well as defenses which have thrived on turnovers."

Oregon redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota was named the Pac-12 Conference's Offensive Freshman of the Year and was the league's first freshman to be named first-team all-conference quarterback since 1989. He ranks sixth in the country in passing efficiency, completing 218 of 312 passes for 2,511 yards and 30 touchdowns while throwing only six interceptions.

Kansas State senior Collin Klein stands as one of the nation's top candidates for the Heisman Trophy after becoming the first quarterback from a BCS AQ school run for 20 touchdowns and pass for 10 more in two seasons. In 2012 he completed 180 of 272 passes for 2,490 yards and 15 TDs in addition to running for 890 yards and 22 scores.

The Ducks completed the regular season ranking second in the country in scoring (50.8 ppg), third in rushing (323.3 avg.) and fourth in total offense (550.1 avg.). The Wildcats rank 10th nationally in scoring offense (40.7 ppg) but also 16th in rushing defense (119.2 avg.) and 24th in scoring defense (21.1 ppg).

Kansas State and Oregon rank first and third in the country, respectively, in turnover margin, with the Ducks leading the country with 24 interceptions and tied for first in total turnovers gained with Kent State (38).

The media release also point out that ironically, both teams suffered their lone setback of the season on the same day as Nov. 17 proved to be their undoing in the race to contend for a berth in the BCS National Championship game. Oregon dropped a 17-14 overtime decision to eventual Pac-12 Conference champion Stanford after watching Kansas State fall to Baylor, 52-24, earlier in the day in Waco, Texas.

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