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Liberty Bowl Preview Q&A with Bring On The Cats

Thanks to Jon F. Morse from our K-State colleagues at Bring on the Cats for playing along with us today.

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1. Give us your favorite memory of Bielema during his time at Kansas State. Good or bad, it doesn't matter.

I don't really have any memories of Bret himself, because I was 1500 miles away and most games weren't available on TV on the east coast then. But I have the best memory ever of his defense: the 2003 Big 12 Championship game, when Josh Buhl, Ted Sims, Thomas Houchin, Andrew Shull, and the late Bryan Hickman wrecked Oklahoma. Darren Sproles, James Terry, and Ell Roberson got all the print for that one, but Bret's defense held the so-called Greatest College Football Team Ever to seven points.

2. Bowl games are usually won by the team that wants to be there more, not always the most talented team. How bad do the Kansas State players want to win this game?

K-State is the worst team to ask this question about, because no coach is better at reminding his players that this is just another football game than Bill Snyder. There's also a tendency for the Cats to come into bowl games a little tired. But make no mistake: they absolutely wanted to be here, and their performance against West Virginia to make sure they wouldn't have to get in on a technicality serves as evidence.

3. How excited is the Kansas State fan base about playing in the Liberty Bowl? While this is a much smaller stage, is there a desire for revenge for the Cotton Bowl a few years back?

We're always pretty keen on going to a storied bowl game we've never been to before. (Russell Athletic Bowl, we're coming for you soon.) And there's absolutely a desire for revenge, although there weren't any real hard feelings against the Hogs after the Cotton.

The refs who didn't call the block in the back on that Joe Adams return TD, on the other hand...

4. What do you think are the keys to a Kansas State victory?

We're not delusional. Everything has to go right for K-State to win this one. The defensive line is going to have to harass Brandon Allen and keep Hunter Henry under control. (That part is do-able; K-State's defensive scheme is much better against a tight end-dependent passing game than one like, say, Baylor's.) But even if they do that, the offense is going to have to move the ball effectively. K-State's scored a lot of points, but in the Big 12, who doesn't?

5. Prediction?

The line on this one is pretty high. I think K-State will cover it, but I'm not expecting a win. 31-24 Arkansas.