Fiesta Bowl Preview and Prediction

Tonight is the night. Oklahoma State can officially stake it's claim as a BCS champion with a win over Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal. In this post, I will dissect some things OSU fans probably won't want or expect to happen as the game unfolds.

There is a name no one mentions when breaking this game down. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford's 5-11, 208lb bruising running back. One thing people forget about Stanford is they are run first, pass second. They just happen to have arguably college football's most accurate and dangerous passer once they set up the opposition for the pass. Taylor is a junior from Mansfield, Texas. He is in his second straight season of over 1,000 yards. He lines up behind sometimes three lead blockers and will "nickel and dime" you to death, only to have a play-action pass called where Luck loves to hit his tight ends down the middle. Taylor is the featured back, but Stanford will use 2 to 3 backs during the game to ensure fresh legs. One thing Oklahoma State has not done well is defend the run. Stanford has a great offensive line and uses it to it's advantage. If you're an Oklahoma State fan, Taylor and committee should have you as worried, if not more than Luck.

On the other side, Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith will be ready for the challenge to run it right back at Stanford. Randle's elusiveness and Smith's power will provide plenty of mismatches on Stanford's defensive side of the ball, only to set up the pass where Weeden will undoubtedly have his eyes locked on Justin Blackmon the majority of the game. Stanford hasn't faced a receiver all year like Blackmon, with maybe the small exception to Robert Woods from USC, who torched Stanford early in the year. The Cowboys need to use the tight ends in this game and continually move the ball. Turnovers aren't an option, because I just can't see the Pokes forcing The Cardinal to punt the ball that much.

Luck and Weeden's "Swan Song's" will provide a lot of emotion as both of these quarterbacks have so much passion for what they do and where they play their college football. The similarities are almost scary between these two teams. Great quarterbacks, great running backs, great coaching and sidelines full of winners.

Quarterbacks: Edge – Stanford

Running Backs: Edge – Stanford

Wide Receivers: Edge – Oklahoma State

Tight Ends: Edge – Stanford

O-Line: Edge – PUSH

D-Line: Edge – PUSH

Linebackers: Edge – Oklahoma State

Secondary: Edge – PUSH

Special Teams: Edge – Oklahoma State

Coaching: Edge – Oklahoma State

I'm probably most excited about THIS game than any game in the entire bowl season. Most people expect a high scoring, shootout. I don't completely disagree with that, but I think Stanford's ground and pound game will use a lot of the clock. This is shaped up to be an instant classic. I just hope both teams play well and leave nothing to chance on the field.

In the end, we expect fireworks, but not as many as most think:
TCS Score Prediction:

Oklahoma State Cowboys – 31
Stanford Cardinal – 27

Blake Mills

I have always had a passion for sports in all categories, maybe except hockey. Even recently, I've taken an interest in some soccer. I am a nerd for weird stats, news and the ever popular "where did he go to school" game. I just want to use this website with my cohort in crime to vent and let you know what we think about everything. I currently reside in Yukon, OK. Now, we would like to share our arrogance, ignorance and intelligence with you! Enjoy the Crimson Slate! We look forward to the feedback.

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2 thoughts on “Fiesta Bowl Preview and Prediction”

  1. I think OSU should definitely be favored in this game, but I believe Stanford could give them all sorts of fits. As you mentioned, the run game is heavily relied on by the Cardinal and the Pokes have struggled with heavy run attacks this year (see KSU & ISU game tapes). You’d better believe that Stanford saw the success teams had pounding the rock and the failures teams had trying to air it out.

    While this does appear to be a classic shootout set up on paper, seems like those type games always fail to produce the big time points most had hoped for. I think a 31-27 finish is a solid pick and could be even lower scoring based off history and notoriously high scoring offenses facing off and then failing to produce. Bowl games always favor the defenses because they have a month to prepare and game plan for that high octane spread. While I think the Cowboys will score, it won’t be near up to their season average.

    This has without question been one of, if not the best season in Oklahoma State football history, but if they fail to shut down the Cardinal ground attack then I fear it could be yet another year ended in disappointment in Cowboy nation. I am biased though and will be rockin my Colts Luck jersey tonight 😉

  2. Good read. However I think for the run game reasons, as you mentioned, will help Stanford control the clock better and excute in the red zone. I think it’ll be high scoring as well but I think Stanford pulls it out.

    Stanford 37
    OSU 35

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