After getting off to a 6-0 start, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were beginning to place their eyes on a national championship, but they finished the season with a 10-2 record, which has placed them in the Alamo Bowl against the Arizona Wildcats.
Oklahoma State has one of the best offenses in the nation, led by junior quarterback Brandon Weeden. Las Vegas' odds have Oklahoma State beating Arizona by 5.5 points. If Weeden can perform at the same high level of play he has exhibited throughout this season, Oklahoma State should run away with this game.
With the Valero Alamo Bowl taking place on December 29th in San Antonio, Texas, here's a look at 10 things you need to know about the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
No. 3 Brandon Weeden: Junior, 6'4", 224 pounds, 27 years of age
Brandon Weeden has been one of the most effective quarterbacks in college football this season, ranking third overall in passing yards. But Weeden and the Cowboys are coming off of a disappointing rivalry loss.
Last week, against the Oklahoma Sooners, the 6'4" Oklahoma native had his worst performance of the season. In what is expected to be a quarterback duel, Weeden should be lighting up the scoreboard in redemption of his last outing.
2010 Stats: 317-of-470, 4,037 yards, 32 TDs, 13 INTs, 67.4 completion percentage and a 156.53 QB rating
2010 Stats: 261 rushing attempts for 1,516 yards and 16 touchdowns; 19 receptions for 106 yards
2010 Stats: 80 carries for 450 yards and two touchdowns; 35 receptions for 399 yards and one touchdown
Oklahoma State has the 29th most productive rushing offense in college football, putting up an average of 182.9 rushing yards per game. Senior Kendall Hunter has led Oklahoma State's rushing attack this season, showing a ton of NFL potential, backed up by the 6'1" freshman Joseph Randle.
Oklahoma State went 1-2 against ranked opponents this season but was extremely competitive against Baylor, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
They beat the No. 21-ranked Baylor Bears by a score of 55-28, blowing them away from the very start, going into halftime with a 24-0 lead.
The Cowboys lost to No. 16-ranked Nebraska, 51-41, and No. 13-ranked Oklahoma, 47-41, with both games being a battle all four quarters.
Oklahoma State has proven that it can hang with the elite teams in college football. On December 29th they should have no problem defeating the Arizona Wildcats, becoming Alamo Bowl champions.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 10-7 overall in bowl games, losing four out of their last six.
Oklahoma State has reached the Alamo Bowl on two other occasions, in 1997 against Purdue and 2004 against Ohio State, losing both times.
Oklahoma State's defense has gone up against some of college football's toughest offenses this season. They ranked 68th overall in points allowed this season, giving up 27.8 PPG, but have held their opponents to 17 points or less in four of the last seven games.
Some of Oklahoma State's premier defenders are LB Orie Lemon, LB Justin Gent, CB Brodrick Brown and CB Andrew McGee.
Lemon has 119 total tackles with 2.5 sacks, Gent has 71 total tackles with two sacks, Brown has 70 total tackles with two interceptions and McGee has recorded 45 total tackles and five interceptions.
Oklahoma State is 2-0 in the state of Texas this season, beating the Texas Tech Red Raiders, 34-17, and the Texas Longhorns, 33-16. This may be an advantage for the Cowboys since Arizona hasn't played a game anywhere in Texas this year.
No. 81 Justin Blackmon
2010 Stats: 102 receptions for 1,665 yards and 18 touchdowns; four rushing attempts for 77 yards and one touchdown
Out of the many wide receivers who will step out onto the Alamodome field on December 29th, Justin Blackmon is the most NFL-ready in only his second season at Oklahoma State. Blackmon scored at least a touchdown in every game he played in this season.
In the last four games Blackmon has made a total of 40 catches for 553 yards and four touchdowns, along with one catch for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy
Overall Head Coaching Record (Six Seasons with Oklahoma State): 46-29
Bowl Record: 2-2; Independence Bowl (Win) (2006), Insight Bowl (Win) (2007), Holiday Bowl (Loss) (2008), Cotton Bowl (Loss) (2009)
Highest AP Ranking While Head Coach: Fifth
Kicker Dan Bailey
2010 Stats: 24-of-28 FGM-FGA (85.7 PCT); 65-of-66 XPM-XPA; 137 total points
Senior kicker Dan Bailey is ranked fifth in the nation in extra points made and third overall in field goals made this season.
Oklahoma State averages 44.9 points per game, which ranks third in the entire nation. A large portion of their points come from their second overall passing offense led by Brandon Weeden, recording an average of 354.7 YPG.
With one of the most explosive offenses in college football, the 2010 Alamo Bowl should be a fairly high-scoring game. If Arizona fails to put points on the board in the early going, Oklahoma State might run away with this one by halftime.