Alamo Bowl Capsule
Alamo Bowl preview capsule
Arizona (7-5) vs. No. 16 Oklahoma State (10-2),
6:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Oklahoma State 5
Series Record: Tied 3-3.
Last Meeting: 1942, Arizona 20-6
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Becoming the first Oklahoma State team to win 11 games in a season might ease the Cowboys’ disappointment of blowing their chance to play for the Big 12 championship. Arizona tumbled from No. 13 to unranked in November while losing its final four games, but a win would secure a third consecutive eight-win season under coach Mike Stoops.
Oklahoma State’s exceptional offense vs. Arizona’s embattled defense. QB Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys led the nation with 537.6 average yards of total offense – just ahead of unbeaten No. 2 Oregon – and scored at least 33 points in all but one game. That’s bad news for the Wildcats, whose worsening defense helped unravel a 7-1 start. Arizona allowed at least 200 yards rushing in three of its final four losses.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma State: WR Justin Blackmon isn’t saying whether he’ll come back to Stillwater after dazzling the Big 12 with NFL pedigree in just his second year. The Belitnikoff Award winner is eight yards shy of surpassing former Pitt star Larry Fitzgerald and breaking the NCAA record for most receiving yards by a sophomore (1,672).
Arizona: Arizona QB Nick Foles has won in the Alamodome as a Texas prep star, and the Wildcats will probably need him to relive those glory days. Foles needs just 89 yards against the Cowboys to become the third quarterback in Arizona history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season, even after the junior missed two games with a knee injury.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Pac 10 returns to the Alamo Bowl for the first time since 1994. The game is beginning a four-year deal with the Pac 10 after ending a 15-year run with the Big 10. … Arizona is seeking a second bowl victory in its seventh season under Stoops. The other was the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl. … Oklahoma State’s fifth consecutive bowl game is a school record but the Cowboys have lost in their last two appearances. … Arizona and Oklahoma State didn’t need this game to meet for the first time in 68 years. The schools begin a home-and-home series next season, starting in Stillwater in September. .