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Kansas State is in the Sugar Bowl for the first time after winning the Big 12 championship game against TCU.

The Wildcats will also face the Crimson Tide for the first time Saturday.

Kansas State has won four straight and put together their first 10-win season since 2012.

Meanwhile, fifth-ranked Alabama is seeking its 10th Sugar Bowl trophy. Alabama’s 17th Sugar Bowl appearance caps the Crimson Tide’s NCAA-record 15th straight 10-win season.

All top NFL-draft eligible prospects are expected to play, including Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson Jr., and Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn and defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah.

Here’s what you should know about this Sugar Bowl matchup:


The Kansas State offensive line will face off against an Alabama defensive front led by All-America outside linebacker Anderson Jr.

Wildcats blockers have opened holes for a running game averaging nearly 210 yards this season and they’ve allowed just 19 sacks. Alabama’s defense has held seven opponents to fewer than 80 yards rushing and averages three sacks per game.


Kansas State: Vaughn rushed for 1,425 yards and eight touchdowns and also has been effective as a receiver out of the backfield. He has 1,803 yards from scrimmage and 11 total TDs this season.

Alabama: Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, passed for 3,007 yards and 27 TDs in 2022 despite a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a game.

He is the first Alabama QB with consecutive 3,000-yard seasons passing. He usually scrambles to pass, but also ran for 11 first downs this season.


The star players for both teams chose to play instead of opting out to prepare for the NFL draft.

Wildcats QB Will Howard has passed for 15 touchdowns against just two interceptions and is 5-1 as a starter since stepping in for injured season-opening starter QB Adrian Martinez in late October. Martinez is expected to be available for the bowl game.

Kansas State reached 10 victories for the first time since 2012 with a 31-28 overtime victory against No. 3 TCU in the Big 12 title game.

The Wildcats are 3-2 all-time against SEC teams in bowl games.

This is Alabama’s 15th consecutive 10-win season, an NCAA record for the most double-digit-win seasons in a row, all under coach Nick Saban. The streak eclipses a mark previously set by Florida State under Bobby Bowden.

Alabama is 97-51-4 in neutral site contests. Since Saban became coach in 2007, the Crimson Tide is 29-7 in neutral site games, but three of the losses came at the Superdome.

Alabama has dropped three of its past four Sugar Bowls, but in its most recent appearance defeated Clemson in a College Football Playoff semifinal game en route to a national title for the 2017 season.

In addition to being a unanimous All-American, Anderson (17 tackles for loss, 10 sacks) took home four national defensive player awards (Bednarik, Lombardi, Lott and Nagurski).