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Alamo Bowl

Arizona vs. Oklahoma State

Betting Line: Oklahoma State -5 o/u 66

12/29/10

 

Oklahoma State and Arizona are set to get very familiar with each other. They haven't played each other in 70 years, but they will meet in the Alamo Bowl before beginning a home and home series in the 2011 season. The Cowboys finished the year 10-2 with losses to Nebraska and Oklahoma. They won games against Tulsa, Kansas State and Texas A&M. The Wildcats enter this bowl on a 4 game skid with a record of 7-5. Their marquee win came in the third week of play against Iowa. This game will be televised live on ESPN on December 29.

The Cowboys of Oklahoma State opened as a 6 point favorite, but the line has since moved to 5. That is in spite of the fact that wagering favors them 59% to 41% at this moment. Oklahoma State boasts the #1 offense in the country in yardage gained at 537.6 per game. They are third in scoring at 44.9 PPG. The Wildcats are getting 29.8 PPG and giving up 21.6 PPG. The fact that they are allowing 27.8 PPG is a testament to the fact that they can't play much defense. Arizona QB Nick Foles is probable as is Cowboys WR Justin Blackmon. Both are recovering from injuries.

Arizona has a balanced offensive attack led by junior QB Nick Foles. He ended the year with a nice performance in defeat against rival Arizona State. Foles passed for 262 yards and 3 TDs. He had a 52 yard pass in that game. His longest pass of the year came in the game prior to that when he went 85 yards in a single snap against Oregon. On the year he has passed for 19 TDs and just 7 INTs. That is pretty good considering he missed two full games. The Wildcats rank 9th in the country in passing yardage at 310 yards per game. WR Juron Criner 73 catches for 1,186 yards and 10 TDs. Keola Antolin and Nic Grinsby lead the rushing attack. They have combined for 1,141 yards and 15 TDs in 2010.

Junior QB Brandon Weeden leads the Cowboys offensive. His stats would make any fan drool as he has posted 4,037 yards and 32 TDs this year. One of his best games came against Tulsa when he passed for 6 TDs. His top WR is Justin Blackmon. The sophomore has caught a TD pass in every game this year. He looked very impressive against Nebraska catching 5 passes for 157 yards and 2 TDs. Blackmon is one of the most prolific WRs in all of college football. 

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Senior RB Kendall Hunter really makes this offense deadly. The 5-8 197 lbs runner has picked up 1,516 yards and 16 TDs this year. He ran wild against Nebraska picking up 201 yards and 2 TDs. The fewest amount of points the Cowboys have scored all year is 33. Regardless of how an opposing defense has been they ALWAYS get theirs. Don't expect that to change here.

The Arizona defense ranks 33rd in the country in Points Against at 21.6 PPG. That number is made to look better than it actually is because of big efforts against cup cake teams like Toledo and Citadel. Perhaps their best effort of the year came when they held USC to 24 points. Bad efforts were numerous though. They gave up 30 to Arizona State, 48 to Oregon and 42 to Stanford. In their defense, the latter two teams are in BCS games. They will have their hands full trying to stop an Oklahoma State offense that is every bit as good as Oregon or Stanford's.

The Oklahoma State defense isn't very good. They have allowed opponents to gain 500+ yards 3 times and more than 400 yards on 5 occasions. The secondary is especially bad as proven by Landry Jones and Oklahoma who passed for 467 yards in the Cowboys regular season finale.

We have this game right around the number. We have Oklahoma State winning a close game with a predicted score of 34-32 which is also right on the total. We would consider playing Arizona at +7 or more which is extremely unlikely here. So for now, we'll call it a lean towards Arizona +5
 

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