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Kansas State vs NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl

Kansas State (8-4,6-3) comes into this game flipping the page towards the future, missing quite a few key players from this season. NC State (9-3,6-2) comes in with a stout defense coming up just shy of an ACC championship game berth. These two teams have never faced each other in the past, until the Pop-Tarts Bowl.

Broadcast Information:

Date- December 28th, 2023

Time- 5:45 EST/4:45 CST

Channel- ESPN

Broadcasters- Anish Shroff and Andre Ware

Radio-ESPN Radio (Check Local Listings)

Key Players not playing- K-State

Will Howard- Quarterback (transfer portal)

Treshaun Ward- Running back (transferred to Boston College)

Ben Sinnott- Fullback/tight end (NFL Draft)

Will Lee- Cornerback (transferred to Texas A&M)

Kobe Savage- Safety (transferred to Oregon)

Key Players Not Playing- NC State

Payton Wilson- Linebacker (NFL Draft)

Players to watch

Kansas State

Avery Johnson, Quarterback: Avery comes into this game with 301 yards passing with 3 touchdowns and no picks on the season. While Avery has a live arm that was not how he was used this season while backing up senior quarterback Will Howard. He had rushed for 225 yards and 6 touchdowns on 45 carries. This game will give the Kansas State fans a real first look at the future face of the Wildcat program.

Marques Sigle, Safety: With some experience leaving the Kansas State secondary, the team's leading tackler will have to step up to help some of the less experienced guys in the back end of the defense.

North Carolina State

Brennan Armstrong, Quarterback: Armstrong has 1,621 yards passing with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions adding 544 yards on the ground with 6 touchdowns. Those rushing numbers lead the team.

Jaylon Scott, Linebacker: Coming into this game with 73 tackles and 2 sacks. This senior has been pretty good on the season, but he was playing alongside the Chuck Bednarik Award winner (best defensive player in America) to take some of the pressure off. He will have to be ready to face a good Kansas State rushing attack.

Prediction - Pop Tarts Bowl

Kansas State has an explosive playmaker at quarterback in Avery Johnson. For his first career start, he could not have drawn a tougher opponent in NC State and a top-30 defense. The promising thing is the best defensive player in America will not be playing. Meanwhile, NC State is bringing out a very seasoned quarterback who has been playing well and has NC State on a five-game winning streak. With Kansas State missing some key players on the backend of the defense, the NC State offense should be able to do enough to win this game. NC State wins 28-24.

Final Score Prediction: NC State 28-Kansas State 24


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