K-State accepts invitation to play in Cactus Bowl

Oct 21, 2017; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Duke Shelley (8) and Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Denzel Goolsby (20) plead their case with an official during a game against OU at Bill Snyder Family Stadium ©Kelly Ross KWCH12

MANHATTAN, Kan. (RELEASE) Kansas State officials announced on Sunday that the Wildcats have accepted an invitation to play UCLA in the 2017 Cactus Bowl.

Following two dramatic wins to close out the regular season in a tie for the fourth place in the Big 12 standings, K-State Nation will head to Phoenix on Tuesday, December 26 for the big event.

The game, which will be K-State’s fourth appearance in the bowl formerly known as the Copper, Insight.com, and Buffalo Wild Wings bowls, pits the Big 12 and the Pac-12 and will be played at Chase Field at 8 p.m. CT, with a nationwide television audience watching on ESPN.

“I am very proud of our team and coaches for ending the season with four wins in the final five games and earning a bowl invitation for the eighth straight season. We look forward to showcasing our football program and Kansas State University in the Cactus Bowl, and I know our fans are excited to show their outstanding support in Phoenix while our football student-athletes, coaches, and staff are provided a first-class experience," says Athletics Director Gene Taylor.

The Wildcats (7-5) will be playing in their 21st bowl game in school history and 19th under Bill Snyder as the Cats are 8-10 all-time in bowls under the legendary and hall of fame head coach.

K-State heads into bowl season as one of the hottest teams in the Big 12, winning its final two games over No. 10 Oklahoma State and Iowa State.

The Wildcats' road to the Cactus Bowl began with three wins in their first four games. Three straight close losses dropped the Cats to 3-4 on the year before a Sunflower Showdown win over KU and a thrilling road win at Texas Tech moved the team to 5-4. Following a heartbreaking loss to West Virginia, K-State went on the road to No. 10 Oklahoma State and became the first unranked Snyder team to defeat a Top 10 team on the road before closing the season with a walk-off win over Iowa State to move to 7-5.

“We are proud of the young men in our program for the way they improved throughout the season and very pleased to represent Kansas State University and the Big 12 Conference in the Cactus Bowl,” said head coach Bill Snyder.

K-State’s seating allotment for the Cactus Bowl includes a total of 6,000 tickets, and after accommodating pre-orders, student tickets and team needs, approximately 3,000 tickets remain for the general public.

All fans who placed a pre-order will receive the number of tickets that were requested. The K-State Athletics Ticket Office will work over the next week to assign specific seats based on the athletic department priority points and mail pre-ordered tickets.

Public tickets for K-State fans who did not place a pre-order are available now at the K-State Online Ticket Office at www.kstatesports.com/bowlgame and through the K-State Athletics Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum or via phone at 1-800-221-CATS between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., on Sunday and beginning again at 8:30 a.m., on Monday.

Fans are strongly encouraged to order through K-State’s official allotment to ensure that all Wildcat fans are seated in the official K-State sections of the stadium.

The location for K-State’s ticket allotment at the Cactus Bowl is among the best of any bowl game with prime lower level endzone locations available for $65.

Student tickets, priced at $65, will go on sale at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday to ICAT members, while all remaining students can purchase tickets beginning Thursday at 8:30 a.m.