The Oklahoma State Cowboys landed in San Antonio on Friday and almost immediately got to work for their Thursday night date in the Alamo Bowl. Waiting for them in the Alamo Dome are the Pac 12 runner-ups Colorado Buffaloes. Both schools are coming off disappointing losses, with a conference championship hanging in the balance, but both have the chance to end their season on a high note and ride into 2017 with raised expectations.
The Buffaloes faced fourth ranked Washington in the Pac 12 championship game and suffered their worst loss of the season. The Huskies trounced the Buffaloes by a final of 41-10, holding Colorado to just 163 total yards of offense and forcing three turnovers.
The Cowboys suffered their worst loss of the season at the hands of in-state rivals Oklahoma. The Sooners ran for 341 yards (at the pace of 6.6 yards per carry) and outscored Oklahoma State 21-3 in the second half.
One of the more impressive non-conference wins for the Big 12 came when Oklahoma State held off Pittsburgh 45-38 in Stillwater. Quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for 540 yards and two touchdowns, with James Washington hauling in nine passes for 296 and both scores.
Colorado announced their presence as a Pac 12 contender with a 41-28 win at Oregon to open conference play. The Buffs withstood a 21 point third quarter from the Ducks and outscored Oregon 8-0 in the final 15 minutes to preserve the win. Quarterback Steven Montez threw for 333 yards and ran for 135 more in the win.
Colorado was middle of the Pac in scoring offense with an average of 32.8 points scored per game. The Buffs averaged 254.4 yards per game through the air and threw 21 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. On the ground, Colorado averaged 4.1 yards per carry with an average of 47 rushing attempts per game. The Buffaloes scored 29 rushing touchdowns this season.
Oklahoma State was third in the Big 12 in scoring with an average of 38.7 points per game. They averaged 322.8 yards per game through the air (second in the conference) and threw 26 touchdowns to just four interceptions. The Cowboys were seventh in the conference on the ground with an average of 4.5 yards per carry and 169.5 yards per game.
The Cowboys gave up an average of 28.1 points per game which was the fourth best average in the conference. They were lower half in the Big 12 against the run, with opponents scoring 21 rushing touchdowns and averaging 4.7 yards per carry and 204.4 yards per game on the ground.
OSU was fifth in the Big 12 against the pass with opposing quarterbacks completing 61% of their passes for an average of 252.6 yards per game. The Pokes have intercepted 13 passes this season while allowing 22 passing touchdowns.
Colorado’s opponents scored an average of 20.5 points per game to rank third in the Pac 12 in scoring defense. The Buffaloes gave up an average of four yards per carry and an average of 145.8 yards per game. Opponents scored 12 rushing touchdowns this season.
They led the way in the Pac 12 in pass defense. Opposing quarterbacks completed just 48% of their passes for an average of 182.5 yards per game .The Buffs were even in passing touchdowns allowed to interceptions at 15 each.