The 2021 Playstation Fiesta Bowl features the 11-1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish against the 11-2 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Here is the 2022 Playstation Fiesta Bowl Preview.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1)
Notre Dame won 11 games en route to their sixth straight bowl game. Brian Kelly left the program, but during the regular season, the team won games over five bowl-eligible teams during the regular season. Their lone loss was to Cincinnati, who made the College Football Playoff.
The offense scores 35.3 points per game, tying them for 20th in the country. They pass for 264.1 yards (ranked 34th) and rush for 152.2 yards per game (ranked 73rd).
Three quarterbacks have played for the Fighting Irish, but Jack Coan, a Wisconsin transfer, has played the most. He has passed for 2,641 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions on 67.8 percent completion. Six receivers have at least 200 yards on the season. Kevin Austin Jr. has led the team with 783 receiving yards on 42 receptions for six touchdowns. Michael Mayer has been one of the best tight ends in the country with 64 catches for 768 yards and five touchdowns. Avery Davis is another main receiver with 386 yards and four touchdowns.
Kyren Williams has led the team in rushing with 1,002 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has opted out for this bowl game, which means Chris Tyree and Logan Diggs will be asked to step up. Tyree has 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Diggs has 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns. To throw in a wrinkle, Tyler Buchner has rushed for 336 yards and three touchdowns as a running threat at quarterback.
The defense allows 18.3 points per game, tying them for ninth in the country. They give up 127.1 rushing yards (ranked 30th) and 212 passing yards per game (ranked 40th). Their best player, safety Kyle Hamilton has opted out for this bowl game. Linebacker JD Bertrand has led the team in tackles with 93. Isaiah Foskey has 10 sacks this season to pace the team. Cornerback Cam Hart has been a star in the secondary with seven passes defended and two interceptions.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-2)
Oklahoma State won 11 games and made the Big 12 Championship. They defeated seven bowl-eligible teams on the season including Baylor and Oklahoma. Both of their losses were to teams that qualified for bowl games.
The Cowboys score 30.6 points per game, ranking them 50th in the country. They rush for 181.8 yards (ranked 45th) and pass for 221.2 yards per game (ranked 76th).
Spencer Sanders is a veteran quarterback for the Cowboys. He has passed for 2,468 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 61.5 percent. Five pass-catchers have at least 200 receiving yards on the year. Tay Martin has been the number one receiver with 70 receptions for 942 yards and seven touchdowns. Brenan Presley has also been solid with 40 receptions for 482 yards and five touchdowns.
Jaylen Warren has been a great player at running back for Oklahoma State. He has 1,134 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Sanders is the second-leading rusher for the team with 543 yards and six touchdowns. Dominic Richardson has been the backup running back and has 370 yards and four touchdowns.
They allow 16.8 points per game, which ranks eighth in the FBS. They concede 91.2 rushing yards (ranked fifth) and 187.2 passing yards per game (ranked 11th). Malcolm Rodriguez has played extremely well with 118 total tackles. Jarrick Bernard-Converse has had 10 passes defended in the secondary. Their leading sacker is Collin Oliver with 11.5 sacks.
With two of Notre Dame’s best players opting out, it will be very tough to match up with Oklahoma State. Younger players will have to step up. The Cowboys’ defense will be ready to play and will win the game for them.
Oklahoma State Cowboys 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 21
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