Heart of Dallas Bowl 2013: Purdue vs. Oklahoma St. TV Info, Predictions and More
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The inaugural Heart of Dallas Bowl will take place on New Year's Day between the Purdue Boilermakers and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This game will feature two football teams that have had tumultuous, up-and-down seasons. Purdue will play this game with an interim head coach, while Oklahoma State has to worry about coach Mike Gundy pursuing other career opportunities.
Regardless, the two contrasting styles of play in this contest will surely make it interesting to watch. Oklahoma State is a deep threat, with spread offense and speed players all over the field. Purdue has a relatively balanced offense that relies on its defense to keep them in games.
Through the first nine games of 2012, Purdue was 3-6. They had not beaten a quality opponent and were one loss away from not making a postseason appearance. However, the team banded together and won each of their last three games to earn a trip to the Cotton Bowl. This team is rolling right now, but Oklahoma State may have what it takes to stop them.
The Cowboys have dropped three of their last five. Granted, all three of those losses came against ranked opponents. However, Oklahoma State's inability to beat the elite teams in the nation has continued to haunt them in 2012. Luckily for them, Purdue is far from being considered elite. If the Cowboys turn this into a shootout, this one could get ugly.
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When: January 1, 2013, 12 p.m. EST
Where: Cotton Bowl in Dallas
TV Info: ESPNU
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
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Both of these teams have a lot to prove heading into this game. No, there will not be any national championship hardware handed out at its conclusion. The game is not being played in primetime and it's going to take a back seat to the larger New Year's Day bowl games being played this season.
However, the loser of this game is going to come out of 2012 with a sour taste in their mouth. Playing in the Cotton Bowl on national television is going to be a major recruiting advantage for both these schools, so you can bet the coaches are going to have their teams fired up to play.
For Purdue, this will be the final game for sixth-year senior Robert Marve. Marve had his best season of his career in 2012, as he threw for over 1,500 yards and completed over 66 percent of his passes. The transfer from Miami is going to take on a porous Oklahoma State defense and should continue his reliable play. A large portion of this game is going to fall on Marve's arm.
However, the Boilermakers will play their first game this season without head coach Gary Hope. Hope was fired last Sunday and will not return to the team next season. Wide receivers coach Patrick Higgins will serve as interim head coach during the bowl game. It's important that Purdue responds to Higgins in the weeks leading up to the game. It would be easy for the team to throw in the towel now. But the Heart of Dallas Bowl is an opportunity to help put this program back on the map.
For Oklahoma State, it's about keeping their focus and playing their best football. The team just fell to the Baylor Bears in their regular season finale, which robbed them of the chances of playing in a more prestigious bowl game. The taste from the Baylor loss is going to stay with the Cowboys for almost an entire month leading up to the game.
Depth Chart for Purdue
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QB— Robert Marve, Caleb TerBush
RB—Akeem Shavers, Akeem Hunt
WR—O.J. Ross, Shane Mikesky
WR—Gary Bush, Cameron Posey
WR—Antavian Edison, Raheem Mostert
TE—Gabe Holmes, Crosby Wright
LT—Kevin Pamphile, Justin Kitchens
RT—Trevor Foy, Justin Kitchens
C—Rick Schmeig, Robert Kugler
LG—Peters Drey, Cody Davis
RG—Devin Smith, Cody Davis
DE—Ryan Isaac, Jalani Phillips
DE—Ryan Russell, Greg Latta
DT—Bruce Gaston, Brandon Taylor
DT—Kawann Short, Michael Rouse
LB—Robert Maci, Nnamdi Ezenwa
LB—Will Lucas, Joe Gilliam
LB—Antwon Higgs, Sean Robinson
CB—Ricardo Allen, Frankie Williams
CB—Josh Johnson, Normondo Harris
FS—Landon Feichter, Max Charlot
SS—Taylor Richards, Chris Quinn
Punter: Cody Webster
Punt Returner: Josh Johnson
Kicker: Paul Griggs
Kick Returner: Raheem Mostert
Holder: Cody Webster
Oklahoma State Depth Chart
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QB—Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh, Wes Lunt
RB— Joseph Randle, Jeremy Smith
WR—Charlie Moore, Isaiah Anderson
WR—Austin Hays, Blake Webb
WR—Josh Stewart, David Glidden
WR—Blake Jackson, Torrance Carr
LT—Parker Graham, Devin Davis
LG—Brandon Webb, Jonathan Rush
C—Evan Epstein, Jake Jenkins
RG—Lane Taylor, Eli Dickerson
RT—Daniel Koenig, Chris Grisbhy
DE—Nigel Nicholas, Cooper Bassett
DE—Ryan Robinson, Tyler Johnson
DT—James Castleman, Anthony Rogers
DT—Calvin Barnett, Davidell Collins
SLB—Caleb Lavey, Ryan Simmons
MLB—Alex Elkins, DeMarcus Sherod
WLB—Shaun Lewis, Lyndell Johnson
CB—Brodrick Brown, Kevin Peterson
FS—Shamiel Gary, Zack Craig
SS—Daytawion Lowe, Larry Stephens
CB—Justin Gilbert, Ashton Lampkin
Kicker: Quinn Sharp, Bobby Stonebraker
Holder: Wes Harlan
Punter: Quinn Sharp, Michael Reichenstein
Kick Returner: Justin Gilbert
Long Snapper: Andruw Suter
Purdue Player to Watch: Akeem Shavers
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In Purdue's last game, running back Akeem Shavers scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help lead the Boilermakers over Indiana 56-35. He's proven to be a lethal threat as a receiver out of the backfield. He's also averaged 4.7 yards on 167 carries this season. As Shavers goes, so does Purdue's offense.
The Big 12 has never been known for stellar defensive teams. Oklahoma State is no exception, as they have allowed nearly 430 yards of total offense per game this season. If Shavers can get the running game working early, the Boilermakers will have the opportunity to make plays down the field as the game progresses.
Shavers is going to be relied heavily upon to break the game open. Against Indiana, he had touchdown receptions of 73-yards and 26-yards. As long as defenses must keep accounting for him out of the backfield, there will be opportunities for guys like O.J. Ross, Gary Bush and Antavian Edison to make plays. It's just a matter of whether they can win their individual matchups off the line of scrimmage.
Oklahoma State Player to Watch: Joseph Randle
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Similar to Shavers, Joseph Randle has the unique ability to change the game with one play. His daunting combination of size and speed has allowed him to become a dual-threat out of the backfield for Oklahoma State's offense this season. Randle has scored 14 touchdowns on the ground in 2012, while also bringing in four scores through the air as well.
Randle's ability to score in a variety of ways can make it extremely difficult for defensive coordinators to get the correct personnel groupings onto the field. If they play the run and guard him with a linebacker, he can make a big play in the passing game. If they put a safety on him, it opens up holes in the rushing lanes.
By dictating the personnel groupings that defenses throw at the Cowboys, Randle allows his quarterback to make quick, accurate reads on defenses. This increases the efficiency in with Oklahoma State runs their offense and it shows in the statistics. The Cowboys have the nation's seventh-ranked passing offense and the 22nd-ranked rushing offense. They run their play based off what the defense gives them, and it's off to the races.
If Randle can make big plays in the passing game for the Cowboys, Purdue's defense is going to have trouble keeping up.
Purdue Will Win If...
Purdue running back Akeem Shavers.
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Purdue will win if they can contain Oklahoma State's explosive offense. Even with their issues at quarterback, the Cowboys have put up 44.7 points per game this season, which is good for the fourth-best total in the nation. Purdue does not have the offense to keep up with Oklahoma State in a shootout. If the defense doesn't hold, it's going to be a long day for the Boilermakers.
The key to stopping the Cowboys passing offense is taking away the deep ball. Oklahoma State has five players with receptions of 38-yards of longer this season. This offense has so many different weapons that can hit a defense in a variety of ways. Purdue must be willing to give up underneath routs, rather than risk big plays down the field.
Oklahoma State is not used to sustaining their drives this season. They normally either hit for a big play, or they make a mistake and either turn the ball over, kick a field goal or punt. If Purdue's defense can hold the Cowboys to under 30 points, they have a chance to win this game.
Oklahoma State Will Win If...
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Oklahoma State will win if they can run the football early. Joseph Randle is averaging over five yards per carry this season. If the Cowboys give the ball to Randle early, it could open up big plays in the passing game as the contest wears on.
Oklahoma State is a passing team. They win football games because they have more viable receiving threats than opponents can match up with. If their defense can keep the opponent to under 40 points, the Cowboys usually win the game.
However, running the football early will enable Oklahoma State to tire Purdue's defense. This will make it harder for the Boilermakers to get to the quarterback and will give more time to Clint Chelf to throw the ball down the field. The big plays will be there for the Cowboys in this one, it's just a matter of whether they will be patient enough to wait for them.
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Oklahoma State 38
The Cowboys have too much firepower on offense for the Boilermakers. They can run the ball down their throat or they can throw it over their head. It's basically a case of pick your poison, and their style of play is extremely difficult to defend if a team hasn't played against it before.
The only way the Boilermakers make a game of this one is if Oklahoma State does not come focused to play 60 minutes of football. The Cowboys have their issues on defense that Purdue will be able to exploit. However, Joseph Randle and Co. are incredibly versatile and hard to defend.
Look for Oklahoma State to roll in this one. If they can avoid turnovers and mental breakdowns, they are the more talented football team. There's no reason this game should be close.