There is a former match-up seen in the Big 12 happening in the 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl, where the Colorado Buffaloes take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys went 9-3 on the season, even if Mike Gundy doesn’t recognize one loss. They only lost to bowl eligible teams, but one of them was the controversial loss to Central Michigan. With wins over TCU, Kansas State, West Virginia and Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State have beaten a lot of really good teams.
Mason Rudolph has been one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football with 3,777 yards passing. He also threw for 25 touchdowns, but the most impressive things is that he has only thrown four interceptions. His ability to protect the football, while putting up so many good numbers makes him efficient.
Wide receiver James Washington is his best target. Washington has 1,209 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches. He is a pro prospect that rips off big plays with a long touchdown catch of 91 yards and a 19 yard per catch average. Jalen McCleskey is the possession receiver with 69 catches on the season.
The passing game is lethal, but the running game still had room to have a 1,000 yard rusher. Justice Hill was able to rush for 1,042 yards and five touchdowns. Chris Carson gets a lot of carries in the red zone with eight touchdown runs.
Defense isn’t the specialty of the Cowboys, as they allow 204 rushing yards per game and 253 yards passing per game.
Jordan Sterns, a defensive back, has helped slow opposing offenses down with 62 solo tackles on the season. He also has five tackles for loss, three interceptions and five passes defended.
There a lot of coach of the year awards, but Mike MacIntyre should win all of them. He led the Buffaloes to a 10-3 record, with their only losses coming to Michigan, Washington and USC (all three teams will play in New Year’s Six Bowl Games). Their four solid wins are over Colorado State, Stanford, Washington State and Utah.
Sefo Liufau hasn’t had the greatest season numbers-wise, but its hard to fault a quarterback too much for numbers when his team has ten wins. He has 2,171 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has added 496 yards and seven touchdowns in the running game.
The Buffaloes have a lot of good targets, but Shay Fields and Devin Ross have been the best. Fields comes up with the big plays while Ross helps move the chains. Fields has nine touchdowns on 845 receiving yards. Ross has 66 catches on the season for 765 receiving yards.
Running back Phillip Lindsey has had a great season with 1,189 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. He is also an excellent target out of the backfield with 47 catches for 390 yards and one touchdown. He is the guy that Oklahoma State’s defense has to focus on stopping.
Colorado has an above average run defense that gives up 146 yards per game. The pass defense is elite, allowing 183 yards per game.
Defensive lineman Jimmie Gilbert has 10 sacks on the season, which has helped the great pass defense of Colorado. When Gilbert can’t get to the quarterback defensive back Tedric Thompson makes plays on the ball with seven interceptions on the season.
Something has to give in this game. Either it’s Colorado’s pass defense or the Oklahoma State offense. Mason Rudolph has played against good defenses before and come up with wins and he will do so again. This is one of the most entertaining non-New Year’s Six Bowl Games and should go down to the wire.
Oklahoma State Cowboys 34 Colorado Buffaloes 30