Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Wildcats Set to Play Another Bowl in Baseball Stadium

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Wildcats Set to Play Another Bowl in Baseball Stadium

Article excerpt

PHOENIX -- It's batter up for Kansas State in another football bowl game.

For the third time in its bowl history, K-State is playing in a stadium built primarily for baseball when it faces UCLA in the Cactus Bowl at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Chase Field.

It's the Wildcats' second bowl game in this stadium, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, after playing in the 2001 Bowl when it was known as Bank One Ballpark.

The Wildcats didn't get their first look at the stadium until a Monday practice, but regardless of the facility coach Bill Snyder says it's always about keeping it between the white lines.

"We played there one time before," Snyder said. "We'll get out there Monday, but we're on grass and we're practicing on grass."

UCLA interim coach Jedd Fisch is taking the same approach.

"I think it's going to be a really cool atmosphere," Fisch said. "I said to our guys, as long as it's 120 yards and 53 and a third wide, we're good to go and we're ready for that. I'm sure the grass is going to be manicured beautifully and we'll be ready to roll, so we're excited about that game and excited about where it will be played."

The grass may not be as big an issue as the sight lines.

"The perception of the baseball field might be a little different," said K-State kicker Matthew McCrane. "I think you see that in the (NCAA) basketball playoff games when they play in those big stadiums. The depth perception of the goal posts or the basketball hoop makes it tough, so we'll see how we adjust to that. It makes field goals look a little bit longer than they probably are."

The Wildcats are hoping for a better outcome than the last time they played in a baseball stadium. That was the 2010 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York where they lost 36-34 to Syracuse in the infamous "Bronx Salute" finish.

Wide receiver Adrian Hilburn caught a touchdown pass with just over a minute remaining and was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct when he directed a salute toward the crowd. The penalty was assessed on the extra point and the Wildcats failed to convert from the 17-yard line on the two-point try to tie the score. …

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