Kickoff: 9:15 PM CT
Location: Chase Field (Phoenix, Arizona)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
Twitter: Follow @HeartlandPokes for live-tweets during the game
The Oklahoma State Cowboy football season did not wrap up in a way that really anyone saw coming. After a 5-0 start, the Cowboys lost 5 of their last 7 games to finish the season 7-5. Injuries, inexperience, coaching…there are plenty of areas where you can point the finger of blame, but none of that matters now as Oklahoma State gears up to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
The Badgers finished the regular season with a 6-6 record, going 4-5 in the Big 10. The Badgers are slight favorites in this matchup, which makes sense as the Cowboys have seen a number of players decide to hit the transfer portal or simply move on to other things. Oklahoma State will have to rely on a handful of young guys that haven’t necessarily seen a lot of field time, but perhaps it’s a good thing to get them some snap ahead of next season.
How the Cowboys Can Win
The biggest key to an Oklahoma State victory is Garret Rangel. The young quarterback has been thrust into the starting spot, replacing Spencer Sanders who was injured initially but is now in the transfer portal. Rangel doesn’t need to have an incredible game for the Cowboys to win, but he does need to play efficiently. If the Badger defensive line is able to get pressure on him, he could struggle to keep from getting sacked or just to take care of the ball.
How the Badgers Can Win
Wisconsin has a pretty decent defense, but their offense is mediocre at best. If the Badgers can figure out a way to put some points on the board early, that would give them enough momentum to potentially carry themselves right into a bowl victory.
An Oklahoma State Win Would…
- Mark Mike Gundy’s 12th coaching bowl win, tying for the sixth-most in college football history.
- Give OSU a 22-11 all-time record in bowl games, ranking as the best winning percentage among all teams with at least 30 appearances and the second-best among teams with at least 20 appearances.
- Mark the sixth bowl win in the past seven seasons, the seventh bowl win in the past nine seasons, and the 10th bowl win in the past 13 seasons.
- Make the Cowboys 3-0 all-time in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
- Make the Cowboys 6-0 all-time in bowl games played in Arizona.
- Mark the 13th time in Mike Gundy’s 18 seasons the Cowboys have finished with at least eight wins.
- Make OSU 23-2 in its past 25 non-conference games and 45-8 in its past 52 non-conference games.
- Improve Mike Gundy’s record in non-conference games to 62-13.
- Improve Mike Gundy’s career record vs. current members of the Big Ten to 5-1.
- Improve Mike Gundy’s record in neutral site games to 15-7.
- Make OSU 87-20 in its past 107 games vs. opponents outside of the AP Top 25, dating to 2010.
Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game
- OSU has won 81 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 30 of its past 43 games.
- OSU has held its opponent to less than a 50% third down conversion rate in 36 of its past 37 games.
- OSU is 34-14 in its past 48 games decided by fewer than 10 points.
- OSU is 44-8 in its past 52 games when leading at halftime, dating back to Sept. 17, 2016.
- Dating back to 2005, OSU is 45-4 when not committing a turnover.
- Dating back to 2008, OSU is 74-8 when winning the turnover battle.
- OSU has won three of its past five overtime games.
- OSU has forced 46 turnovers in its past 30 games.
- Over the past 37 games, OSU has held opponents to 154-for-559 (27.5%) on third down.