Kickoff: 12 PM CT
Location: State Farm Stadium (Phoenix, Arizona)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Twitter: Follow @HeartlandPokes for live-tweets during the game
How the Cowboys Can Win
All season long, Oklahoma State has relied on the defense to push them to victory, and it’s going to take nothing less than just that to beat Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish average over 400 yards of offense per game with 263.6 yards per game coming from the passing game, so stopping that should be a major focus.
The Cowboys lead the nation with 55 sacks, and getting pressure on the quarterback will be key to keeping the Fighting Irish at bay. Through 12 games this season, Notre Dame has allowed 33 sacks (101st in the NCAA), so if Oklahoma State can keep pressure on quarterback Jack Coan, it could be a good day for the defense.
How the Fighting Irish Can Win
Notre Dame’s defense is not quite as good as Oklahoma State’s, but they’re solid, allowing just 339.1 yards per game. The Cowboys have struggled on offense, particularly against the better defenses that they have faced, so keeping them from scoring a lot of points shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. Still, that alone is probably not going to be enough to beat the Cowboys.
If the Fighting Irish want to be successful, they need to make some big plays on the offensive end. Baylor managed 10 plays of 10+ yards against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship, and most of those came in the first half. The Cowboys don’t give up a lot of them, but if you make them count, you can make Oklahoma State pay. That’s what Notre Dame is going to need to do.
Staff Score Predictions
|Craig||30-27 Oklahoma State|
|Zack||24-21 Oklahoma State|
An Oklahoma State Win Would…
- Give OSU a 21-11 all-time record in bowl games, ranking among the top three in bowl winning percentages among teams with at least 20 appearances.
- Mark OSU’s fifth bowl win in the past six seasons, its sixth bowl win in the past eight seasons and its ninth bowl win in the past 12 seasons.
- Give the Cowboys five wins this season over teams ranked in the AP top 25 at game time, matching the school record of five set in 2011. Only Oklahoma State, Georgia, Alabama and Baylor have four AP top 25 wins heading into Bowl Season.
- Mark the Cowboys’ sixth win over an opponent with a winning record this season.
- Mark the Cowboys’ eighth win over an opponent who reached a bowl game this season.
- Tie the school record for most wins in a season. OSU also won 12 games in 2011.
- Make OSU 4-2 all-time in New Year’s Day games.
- Make OSU 19-2 in its past 21 non-conference games and 41-7 in its past 48 non-conference games.
- Make OSU 15-6 in its past 21 games vs. AP Top 25 teams.
- Mark the Cowboys’ 10th win over an AP Top 10 team since 2008.
- Make OSU 14-2 in its past 16 games overall, dating back to the 2020 season.
- Mark Mike Gundy’s 36th career win vs. AP Top 25 opponents. Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are the only other active coaches with more wins over AP Top 25 teams at their current schools.
- Mark the fifth win in school history in a game between two teams ranked in the AP Top 10.
Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game
- OSU is averaging more than 36 points and 435 yards of offense in its past six games.
- OSU has outscored its past six opponents by a combined margin of 218-77, which amounts to an average score of 36-13.
- OSU has given up just seven offensive touchdowns in its past 24 quarters of play.
- OSU has held its last six opponents to 18-for-85 on third down (17.5 percent).
- OSU has held three of its past six opponents under 2.9 yards per play.
- OSU has held three of its past six opponents under 150 yards of total offense. No other FBS teams has held three opponents under 150 yards this season.
- OSU has held seven of its past 11 opponents under 100 yards rushing.
- OSU has held eight of its past 10 opponents under 200 yards passing.
- OSU has held 22 of its past 24 Big 12 opponents under their season scoring average.
- OSU has won 79 consecutive games when holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points, dating back to Sept. 13, 2003 – the longest active stretch of time in the FBS and longest since at least 1980.
- OSU has held its opponent scoreless on its game-opening drive in 24 of its past 30 games.
- OSU has held its opponent to less than a 50 percent third down conversion rate in 24 straight games.
- OSU has held its opponent to fewer than 20 first downs in 11 games this season.
- Malcolm Rodriguez has recorded at least five tackles in 20 of his past 21 games.
- OSU is 31-12 in its past 43 games decided by fewer than 10 points.
- OSU is 39-6 in its past 45 games when leading at halftime, dating back to Sept. 17, 2016.
- Dating back to 2005, OSU is 43-4 when not committing a turnover.
- Dating back to 2008, OSU is 69-8 when winning the turnover battle.
- OSU has won three of its past four overtime games.
- OSU has forced 27 turnovers in its past 17 games.