2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State Vs. Stanford – Preview, Prediction, and Pick Against the Spread

Two one loss teams square off in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 when Oklahoma State and Stanford go head-to-head. Stanford went 8-1 in Pac-12 play and finished 11-1 overall this season. The lone loss for the Cardinal came to the University of Oregon on November 12th. Oklahoma State was 10-0 and poised to make a run for a BCS title when they were upset by Iowa State in a double overtime game. The Cowboys rebounded by thrashing rival Oklahoma 44-10 in the final game of the season. Oklahoma State went 8-1 in the Big 12 and 11-1 overall. The Cowboys are currently the #3 team in the country and the Cardinal are #4.

When Stanford is on Offense

Stanford ranked 7th in the nation in scoring this season averaging 43.6 points per game. The Cardinal used a balanced attack that averaged 273.0 yards passing and 207.9 yards rushing. Quarterback Andrew Luck entered the season with a ton of hype and he lived up to it. Luck completed 70% of his passes for 3170 yards, 35 touchdowns, and only 9 interceptions. Luck was only sacked 9 times all season. Stanford likes to run the football behind their talented offensive line. Running back Stepfan Taylor averages 5.6 yards per carry and finished the regular season with 1153 yards and 8 touchdowns. Tyler Gaffney will also see some carries and averaged 6.4 yards per carry during the regular season.

Oklahoma State’s defense gave up an average of 25.8 points per game. The Cowboys held some very potent offenses in check this season. Oklahoma State held a Baylor team that averaged 45.3 points to 24, and they held rival Oklahoma to 10 points, 30 points below their average. Oklahoma State was second in college football with 23 interceptions this year.

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When Oklahoma State is on Offense

The Cowboy’s offense ranked 2nd in the nation in scoring at 49.3 points per game and 2nd in passing yards with an average of 386.3 per game. Quarterback Brandon Wheeden surpassed the 4000 yard passing mark for the second season in a row with a total of 4328 yards and 34 touchdowns. Wheeden has the luxury of throwing to one of the top receivers in the country in Justin Blackmon. As a junior this season Blackmon caught 113 passes for 1336 yards and 15 touchdowns. Sophomore running back Joseph Randle exploited the holes created by the Cowboys’ passing attack to gain 1193 yards rushing and score 25 total touchdowns.

Stanford ranked 23rd in the country allowing 20.3 points per game. Oregon proved that Stanford could be scored on when the Ducks put up 53 points against the Cardinal. Oregon’s offense is more run oriented than Oklahoma State’s, so it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys attack the Stanford secondary. Stanford did a great job of rushing the passer this season with 38 sacks, but they only intercepted 6 passes.

2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Pick Against the Spread

Oddsmakers currently have Oklahoma State as 3.5 point favorites over Stanford. One thing is for sure, this will be an exciting, high scoring football. game. Both quarterbacks are making their final start of their college career and will be laying it all on the line. I like Oklahoma State to win the game, but I think it will come down to a final possession field goal. I will take Stanford with the 3.5 points.

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2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Prediction

Oklahoma State – 41
Stanford – 38