Arizona Bound: K-State accepts bid to Cactus Bowl, will face UCLA

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Kansas State running back Alex Barnes (34) and quarterback Skylar Thompson (10) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Kansas State’s eighth straight bowl game appearance will feature the Wildcats’ third trip to Arizona during that stretch, according to a source close to the program.

The news was confirmed at 3:20 p.m. by the bowl’s official Twitter account.

The Wildcats (7-5) will play UCLA (6-6) in a rematch of the 2014 Alamo Bowl, which the Bruins won 40-35. The game ended in controversy as UCLA coach Jim Mora snubbed K-State’s Bill Snyder of a handshake at midfield.

Mora was fired earlier this season and the Bruins hired Chip Kelly, who will take over after the Cactus Bowl.

K-State’s season began with promise, but a host of issues and injuries quickly eliminated any Big 12 title hopes. But the team rallied to win four of its last five games, largely behind the emergence of freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson.

UCLA’s year progressed similarly, with the Bruins beating California 30-27 in the regular season finale to reach bowl eligibility.

The Cactus Bowl will kick off at 8 p.m. Dec. 26 from Chase Field in Phoenix.

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Tyler Dreiling

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