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Kansas to Play UNLV in Guaranteed Rate Bowl on December 26


LAWRENCE, Kan. ( their second bowl appearance in as many seasons, the Kansas Jayhawks will play the UNLV Rebels in the 2023 Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, December 26. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. CT inside Chase Field – the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks — and will air on ESPN.

The bowl appearance will be Kansas’ 14th in program history, as the Jayhawks make their second consecutive bowl game for just the second time in program history. This year’s Guaranteed Rate Bowl will be Kansas’ second appearance in the bowl, after playing in the 2008 Insight Bowl in Tempe, Arizona, resulting in a 42-21 victory over Minnesota.

Kansas and UNLV will meet for the third time in the series history, as the two teams played in a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003. Kansas won the most recent meeting in 2003, 46-24, while UNLV won the inaugural matchup in Las Vegas in 2022, 31-20.

The Jayhawks enter the 2023 Guaranteed Rate Bowl with their best regular season record since 2007, finishing 8-4 (5-4 Big 12) in its their third year under head coach Lance Leipold.

Kansas opened the season with a 4-0 start for the second-straight season, rattling off wins against Missouri State (48-17), Illinois (34-23), at Nevada (31-24) and BYU (38-27). Kansas suffered its first lost at No. 3 Texas on Sept. 30, 40-14.

The Jayhawks returned home on Oct. 7 and rushed for 399 yards to defeat UCF, 51-22 for its fifth win. Two weeks later, Kansas defeated No. 6 Oklahoma on Homecoming, 38-33, marking its first win over a top-10 team in Lawrence since 1984, while becoming bowl-eligible for the second consecutive season.

Kansas closed out its regular season with two road wins over its final four games, including a thrilling 28-21 victory over Iowa State in Ames on Nov. 4. Following two-straight losses at home, the Jayhawks completed its regular season with a 49-16 win over Cincinnati on Nov. 25.

The five Big 12 Conference wins for the Jayhawks were the most since the 2007 season, while Kansas reached eight wins for the 15th time in program history.

The Jayhawks will enter the Guaranteed Rate Bowl with the No. 4 total defense in the Big 12, allowing an average of 377.6 yards per game. Kansas’ offense averages 33.6 points per game, which enters bowl game ranked 29th nationally.

UNLV enters the Guaranteed Rate Bowl at 9-4 including a 6-2 record in Mountain West Conference play. The Rebels advanced to the Mountain West Championship, falling to Boise State, 44-20, on Dec. 2.