Wake up it's GAMEDAY!!!
— 𝗩𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗿𝗼 𝗔𝗹𝗮𝗺𝗼 𝗕𝗼𝘄𝗹 (@valeroalamobowl) December 29, 2016
Kickoff: 8 PM CST
Location: Alamodome (San Antonio, TX)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network, KXXY 96.1 FM (OKC area)
- Oklahoma State enters the game with a 9-3 record, seeking their fifth 10-win season under Head Coach Mike Gundy.
- Colorado enters the game with a 10-3 record, their first winning season since 2005 when they went 7-6, and their best season since 2001 when they went 10-3.
- This is the 11th straight bowl game for the Cowboys under Mike Gundy.
- This is the first bowl game for Colorado since a loss in the 2007 Independence Bowl.
- Oklahoma State owns a 16-10 all-time bowl record and a 6-4 bowl record under Mike Gundy.
- Colorado owns a 12-16 all-time bowl record.
- The Cowboys have a 19-26-1 (.413) all-time record against the Buffaloes and have won the last 2 meetings which came in 2008 and 2009 before Colorado left for the PAC-12.
- Mike Gundy is 2-1 against Colorado.
- Oklahoma State is 1-2 all-time in the Alamo Bowl.
- Colorado is 0-1 all-time in the Alamo Bowl.
Keys to the Game
- Let Mason Air It Out: Oklahoma State Quarterback Mason Rudolph played arguably his worst game all year long in the final game of the season against Oklahoma. Rudolph could not get much going due to a number of different factors. The offensive line could not seem to protect him, the ball was slippery due to the rainy conditions, and he made a number of awful throws and poor decisions. However, the biggest issue with the pass game against the Sooners was the lack of deep balls thrown. Colorado has what is likely the best secondary that Oklahoma State will face all season, so if the Cowboys want to be successful, they need to let Rudolph throw the deep ball to the talented group of receivers that he has at his sides.
- Get in the Backfield: Colorado has a proficient offense that ranks 48th in both rushing yards per game with 191.9 and passing yards per game with 254.4 per game. Buffalo QB Sefo Liufau has had a solid season despite missing a couple of games due to injury. Liufau has thrown for 2171 yards and 11 touchdowns with a 62.8% completion rate. More importantly, Liufau is the second-leading rusher for the Buffaloes with with 496 yards and 7 touchdowns. Oklahoma State’s defensive line can be monstrous at times, and in order to take pressure off of the Cowboy Secondary, they need to put pressure on Liufau and try to force him into making mistakes.
- Special Teams Could Have a Special Day: Colorado’s weak spot is definitely its special teams. The Buffaloes rank near the bottom in both opponent punt return and kickoff return yards. Oklahoma State has solid returners in Barry J. Sanders and Jalen McCleskey, but the Cowboys have not had a special teams touchdown all season long. If Oklahoma State can attack the primary weakness of Colorado and put up points in an unconventional way, that could be just the edge the Cowboys need to come away with a win.