Fiesta Bowl 2012: 5 Reasons Andrew Luck's Final Game Will End in Disappointment
Outside of the BCS national championship game, the 2012 Fiesta Bowl will likely be the most-watched bowl game of the season. The intriguing matchup of the nation's most prolific offense in college football against its most polished quarterback.
The general consensus is that this game will be a shootout between two heavyweights. Unfortunately for Cardinal fans, the Cowboys are going to give a knockout punch to the Cardinal late in the third.
Andrew Luck was the feel good story of the offseason when he decided to return for his junior season. However, he will fall short of his goal for a Heisman Trophy and a BCS bowl game win.
Andrew Luck Will Disappoint on the Stat Sheet
Going into the game, people are expecting a great stat line from Luck in this supposed high-scoring game. However, the Cardinal's offense is best when they are balanced and able to run the ball.
The Cardinal are going to find out quickly that they do not want to get in a shootout with the Cowboys. They tried it with Oregon and it got ugly.
As a result, Stanford is going to run the ball more than usual in an attempt to control the clock and keep the Cowboys' offense on the sideline as much as they can.
Luck will finish with under 300 yards in a game where more is expected.
Brandon Weeden Will Outshine Andrew Luck on This Day
Andrew Luck is the nation's most complete and polished quarterback. However, Weeden has more weapons to throw the ball to with Justin Blackman and Tracy Moore.
As I stated in an earlier slide, Luck will be under 300 yards for the game. However, Weeded will not, and he will pass for a minimum of four touchdowns.
Luck is going to have the better payday and NFL career. However, Weeden will be better on this day.
Andrew Luck Will Have a Game-Clinching Turnover
Andrew Luck has had another phenomenal season where he passed for over 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns to only nine interceptions. It is because of this that he was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in back-to-back seasons.
Although Luck has not turned the ball over much in his career, the few he has had have come at inopportune times.
Stanford will start out trying to control the time of possession by running the ball, but when they find themselves down early, they will go to the air and Luck will make a crucial mistake.
The Cowboys' defense will never be confused with Alabama or LSU. However, they do pick their spots and are opportunistic. They will make a big play that will put the game out of reach.
Oklahoma State Will Win the Football Game
Stanford completed the regular season with an 11-1 record and is a solid football program. However, they have been vulnerable to the big play all season when facing elite offenses.
This does not bode well for the Cardinal, who will be facing a Cowboys offense that is second in the NCAA scoring with 49.3 points per game and is known for big plays.
The top two defenses that Stanford has faced, Oregon and USC, gave up 53 and 48 points, respectively. Their inability to stop elite offenses will be on full display in this game.
Stanford Will Drop out of the Top 5
Finishing the season 11-2 and in the top 10 any other year would have been considered a victory. However, when Andrew Luck said he would return for his junior season, the bar was raised. However, at the end of the day, Stanford will finish the season without a conference championship and without a bowl win.
Had they not lost their coach to the NFL, the Cardinal would be playing LSU in the national championship game. But with a questionable resume and a big bowl defeat, they will not finish the season in the top five.
Yes, Stanford is a very good football team, but they did not reach their potential this season.