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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Michigan is in trouble without quarterback Devin Gardner

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Michigan vs. Kansas State
Tempe, Ariz.
Dec. 28, 2013

The outlook of this game changed significantly when Michigan announced earlier this week that quarterback Devin Gardner would not play in the bowl game thanks to a broken left foot.

With freshman Shane Morris at the helm, Michigan is not the same team. Gardner is a guy who can keep plays alive. He has the ability to create and scramble. He keeps things exciting. Without him, the Michigan offense might not be able to keep up with a Kansas State team that got significantly better as the year progressed. Even though the Wildcats only won seven games, five of those wins came in their last six games. And they even managed to score 31 points in their loss to Oklahoma.

K-State receiver Tyler Lockett has been on a tear as of late with 444 yards and four touchdowns in his last three games and that includes 278 receiving yards against Oklahoma.

Michigan was already the underdog in this contest, but if the Wolverines can’t stop the Kansas State offense, they will have a tough time matching them score for score.

MASCOT FIGHT

The matchup between a wolverine and a wildcat is intriguing because they’re pretty equally matched. Initially, one might lean toward the wolverine because of its aggressive nature, but the wildcat can be feisty. This is a close one, but the wolverine's aggressive nature gives it the slight edge.

PREDICTIONS

Graham: Kansas State 41, Michigan 24. Without Devin Gardner I think Michigan will be in big trouble in this game. Kansas State found its offensive stride in the latter half of the season and they should be able to abuse Michigan’s porous defense.

Nick: Kansas State 24, Michigan 13. What does the wizard Bill Snyder have in store for this one? Without Devin Gardner, Michigan is toast, and you can bet that Snyder has a detailed gameplan figured out against Shane Morris, who will struggle against Kansas State's pressure. Both teams better watch out for flying cable cams though.

Sam: Kansas State 30, Michigan 17. Kansas State got better as the year progressed, winning five of its last six games. Bill Snyder’s Wildcats haven’t won a bowl game since 2002 and now that Michigan will start true freshman Shane Morris at quarterback for the injured Devin Gardner, the Wildcats will end its streak of bowl losses.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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