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The Stanford Cardinal seemed to be on their way to a crucial victory that would give them a huge Fiesta Bowl victory over the Oklahoma St. Cowboys. Andrew Luck had driven the team all the way down into field goal range with still a minute on the clock, and it looked like Stanford would only need a few more yards to pick it up.
But then Stanford did a strange thing. They stopped moving the football.
Luck drove the Cardinal all the way from the Stanford 20 to the Oklahoma State 25 in a minute and a half, and with the game tied, all Stanford needed was another 25 yards in 50 second and the Cardinal would be in a dominant position.
Yet, Stanford head coach David Shaw ordered two straight runs to try and give Stanford a short field goal and ensure the Cowboys didn't get the ball back. The result was a hooked Jordan Williamson field goal that sent the 2012 Fiesta Bowl into overtime.
However, that wasn't quite as puzzling as the run-play selection early in the first overtime. With 1st and 10 at the 25, Stanford picked up five yards on the ground, lost them on a line penalty to make it 2nd and 10, and then ran the football again and got stuffed. Stanford was forced into a short throw on 3rd and long and Williamson sailed another field goal wide left, setting up Oklahoma State's eventual victory.
What was David Shaw thinking? Why didn't he put the football in the hands of Luck to win this game?
To discuss Shaw and Stanford football, head to Rule of Tree.
Stanford Cardinal kicker Jordan Williamson suffered the fate every kicker secretly fears but will not publicly state. Williamson had an opportunity to win the 2012 Fiesta Bowl at the end of regulation and missed a 35-yard field goal lined up dead center. In overtime, he had a chance to redeem himself with a 43-yard attempt and missed that as well. The Oklahoma State Cowboys quickly moved down the field in their overtime possession and kicked a game-winning field goal to walk away as Fiesta Bowl champions.
Naturally Williamson was extremely upset following the game as his two misses cost the Cardinal a chance at the Fiesta Bowl trophy. The only way the situation could have been worse was if it had come in a national championship game.
Stanford OL David DeCastro to reporter who approached sobbing K Jordan Williamson: "Leave him alone!"— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 3, 2012
Hopefully Williamson can bounce back in 2012 when the Cardinal return to the field. Being a kicker involves a certain ability to shake off the last miss, no matter how tough a stomach punch it is. It is very much like being a closer in baseball. You have a very specific job and failure at the job often comes at some of the worst possible times.
Ideally he will bounce back and put together a strong 2012 campaign. Some of the best kickers in the NFL have missed supposed chip shots to win games and bounced back strong. Hopefully the same holds true for Jordan Williamson.
End of regulation field goal attempt
OT field goal attempt
For those who missed the highlights from yesterday's Fiesta Bowl contest, here's a look at all the big plays from this contest, especially the touchdowns.
Ty Montgomery got rocked up early on by an eager Oklahoma State defender.
Andrew Luck went right back to his primary receiving threat though, and found him to put Stanford up early.
Stanford kept the scoring going with an impressive Jeremy Stewart run.
Justin Blackmon finally got the Cowboys going with his usual playmaking abilities.
Stanford tried to return the ensuing kickoff, but it didn't get that far.
Blackmon kept his game going with another big touchdown catch.
Stanford retook the lead on a Stepfan Taylor rushing score.
Oklahoma State proceeded to tie things up when Brandon Weeden rushed the football in.
Stanford recaptured the lead when Andrew Luck drove the Cardinal down the field and found Zach Ertz in the end zone.
Luck botched a handoff near his own end zone though, and the Cowboys turned that into points to cut Stanford's lead to four.
After Stanford converted a field goal, Oklahoma State then tied the game on Blackmon's third touchdown.
Stanford recaptured the lead on a Stepfan Taylor rushing score.
After a late drive by Oklahoma State, the Cowboys tied things up behind a Joseph Randle rushing score.
Then Luck directed Stanford down the field to get them into field goal range, but the Cardinal missed not just one, but two field goals (the first one which could've won the game outright). Oklahoma State ended up kicking a chip shot to clinch the win.
After missing a game-winning field goal as time expired, Williamson missed a 43-yard field goal in Stanford's first overtime drive, allowing the Oklahoma St. Cowboys to drive quickly.
From there, they set up a 22-yard field goal by Quinn Sharp to win the 2012 Fiesta Bowl 41-38 in exciting fashion.
No one would blame Williamson if he just looked like this from now until August.
In a losing effort, Andrew Luck played an amazing game for the Cardinal. He finished 27-of-31 for 348 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was basically flawless in the fourth quarter and did everything he possibly could.
As did Stepfan Taylor, who rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries in the losing effort.
Meanwhile, Brandon Weeden kept pace with Luck all evening. He completed 29 passes on 42 attempts for 399 yards and three scores. It was the first time both quarterbacks passed for more than 300 yards in the Fiesta Bowl.
Justin Blackmon was sensational for the Pokes, making big catch after big catch. He finished with 191 yards and three touchdowns on eight receptions.
The Cowboys finish the season 12-1 and will likely end up No. 2 in the final polls, whatever consolation that might provide them. Stanford finishes the year 11-2 and should remain in the final top ten rankings.
The Cardinal completed a third quarter drive with a 30-yard field goal to go up 31-24.
The Cowboys took over just seconds into the fourth quarter and Brandon Weeden passed the ball. And then he passed again. And eight pass attempts and seven completions later, he hit Justin Blackmon in the endzone for a 17-yard touchdown to tie things up at 31 apiece.
Stanford followed up that impressive drive with an impressive driver of their own. Behind Andrew Luck, the Cardinal took over six minutes off the clock on a 13-play drive that culminated with Stepfan Taylor's second rushing touchdown of the day, putting the Cardinal up 38-31.
On the ensuing drive, Oklahoma State put the game on the line by going for it on fourth down from their own 40. Blackmon came through in the clutch for a 27-yard pass to keep the drive alive. After five Weeden completions, Joseph Randle rushed up the middle for a four-yard touchdown to even things right back up, 38-38.
With two and half minutes left on the clock, it was more than enough time for Andrew Luck to lead the Cardinal down the field and he did just that, going 8-for-8 on the drive and plating Stanford at the OS 19-yard-line where freshman kicker Jordan Williamson lined up an easy game-winner and...whiffed. Overtime, here we come.
It was the first time in Fiesta Bowl history that both quarterbacks passed for more than 300 yards. Luck has 345 yards and two touchdowns wile Weeden has 375 yards and three scores. And now they'll get to add to that.
Things slowed down after the second quarter of the 2012 Fiesta Bowl which saw five touchdowns. However, the third quarter did see its share of scoring as the Stanford Cardinal took a 28-24 lead into the fourth quarter over the Oklahoma St. Cowboys.
After an Oklahoma State drive stalled, the Cardinal took over on their own fifteen. They quickly moved to the other side of the field as Stepfan Taylor drove the team toward the endzone. He got them down to the 15-yard line where Andrew Luck hit Zach Ertz scored to make it 28-21.
After a little back-and-forth, Stanford RB Geoff Meinken fumbled on his own 4-yard line, setting up a prime opportunity for the Pokes to tie things up.
However, the Stanford defense held and OSU was forced to kick a field goal, making it 28-24.
Luck is now 17-of-24 for 247 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT and has the Cardinal a quarter away from a Fiesta Bowl victory.
Up 7-0 after the first quarter, Andrew Luck and the Cardinal offense went to work right away. Starting from their own 13, Stanford drove down the field on seven plays and capped their second scoring drive of the day with a 24-yard Jeremy Stewart run to go up 14-0.
Not content, Weeden and Blackmon would hook up on their next possession for an even-more impressive 67-yard touchdown pass, tying the game 14-14.
With the game now tied, Luck and the Cardinal went back to it, driving 80-yards on eight plays to take the lead back on a 4-yard Stepfan Taylor touchdown run. Luck completed five passes for 70 yards on the drive to make it 21-14 Stanford with 2:20 to go.
Finally, just to make sure things are as interesting as possible, the Pokes took the final drive of the half from their own 23 all the way down to the Stanford two-yard-line, where Weeden ran for two very tough yards to make it 21-21 and send both teams into the locker-room tied at the half. It was Weeden's first rushing TD of his career.
Luck ended the half throwing 11-of-14 for 163 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His counterpart, Brandon Weeden, threw for 238 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception on 13-of-21 passing.
After a slow start, the Stanford Cardinal were first on the board at the 2012 Fiesta Bowl as they lead 7-0 after one quarter of play. The game got off to a slow start as both defenses were playing some solid football. On their opening drive, the Cardinal got deep into Cowboys territory on a Stepfan Taylor 38-yard rush, but Jordan Williamson missed a 41-yard field goal.
After the two teams exchanged a pair of punts, Stanford got their seven points on a big play-action bomb to Ty Montgomery. The Cardinal set up the play perfectly with their rushing attack and some underneath passes to the tight end. They ran play action and Montgomery was a good five yards behind the secondary as he hauled in the perfectly placed Luck pass.
Aside from that touchdown, neither quarterback has been particularly spectacular. Luck is 4 of 6 for 68 yards with one touchdown and one interception while Brandon Weeden is 5 of 10 for 26 yards and an interception. Both defenses have brought their A-games.
Here is some video of the Luck-Montgomery touchdown
The No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys and No. 4 Stanford Cardinal square off Monday evening in what could be one of the more high scoring bowl games of the season. The 2012 Fiesta Bowl will act as a de facto third place game before next Monday's Alabama-LSU national championship game. While the national title game could be a stiff defensive battle, the Fiesta Bowl is likely to be the exact opposite. Here is a preview of the matchup, by the numbers:
92.8: The number of combined points, on average, scored by the Cardinal and Cowboys this season. Oklahoma State is second in the country with 49.3 points per game, while Stanford is seventh at 43.6 points per contest. The over/under is sitting at 74 points, so it might be worth considering the over.
1,037.9: The number of total yards on offense averaged by the two teams. Oklahoma State is third in the nation averaging 557.0 offensive yards per contest, while Stanford is 11th at 480.9 yards per game. We could be looking at a bit of a track meet. It is worth noting that Oklahoma State is built around their passing offense while Stanford offers a more balanced approach.
169: The number of yards Andrew Luck needs to exceed his career-high 3,338 yards last season. Luck is expected to enter the 2012 NFL Draft and this game provides an ideal opportunity for him to showcase his passing skills.
445.7: The number of total yards on average Oklahoma State gives up on defense per game, which is "good" for 106th in the country. 265.6 of those yards comes from opponent's passing attack, which ranks 103rd in the nation.
207.92: The number of offensive rushing yards Stanford averages per game. The Cardinal are most known for QB Andrew Luck, but the offense starts with their power rushing attack. Stanford averages 5.3 yards per carry and has four running backs with at least 50 carries. Stepfan Taylor leads the way with 1,153 yards and eight touchdowns. Jeremy Stewart operates as a goal line back with eight touchdowns of his own while Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson operate as change of pace backs with a combined 728 yards and ten touchdowns.
20.25: The average number of yards per catch by Stanford tight end Coby Fleener. The Cardinal tight end is third in the nation in yards per catch and is part of the dynamic tight end sets the Cardinal throw out on a regular basis.
111.3: The average number of receiving yards per game caught by Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The Cowboys receiver is seventh in the nation in yards per game and will be the focus of Stanford's defense.
1.67: The combined number of sacks allowed per game by Stanford and Oklahoma State. Both teams have strong offensive lines that keep their QBs on their feet. If either team's pass rush can get anything going, that could be the difference in this game.
The 2012 Fiesta Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PST. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Sean McDonough, Matt Millen, Heather Cox on the call.
The Fiesta Bowl is today. Oh, you didn't know? Well, that's unfortunate.
But fortunately for you, we grabbed a few predictions from across the country to see where folks are seeing today's game so you can quickly catch up. Yes, we're nice like that.
And the survey says...
The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel, Jenni Carlson, Gina Mizell and John Helsley all picked Oklahoma State to win but all of their predicted scores were within six points, so none of them expect an easy win.
Rivals' Matt Hinton picks Stanford to win due to the ability of the Cardinal's offensive line to handle an OSU defensive front that doesn't have the athletes to make up for their lack of size.
Bruce Feldman and Adam Jacobi are the only CBS Sportsline writers to pick Stanford to win. The five all picked Oklahoma State.
ESPN's David Ubben also picks Oklahoma State to win in a close game.
It's apparent that nobody expects Oklahoma State to dominate, but the majority thinks they'll prevail. It's up to Stanford to turn those slights into motivation and send Andrew Luck off into the sunset with an "upset" win in the Fiesta Bowl.
The 41st annual Fiesta Bowl is nearly here. The Stanford Cardinal may have missed out on the National Championship Game and the Rose Bowl, but they will get one last opportunity for Andrew Luck and company to shine on a national stage in a high-profile bowl game that is expected to be exciting and competitive. The Cardinal will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys for one last win, bragging rights and possibly, just possibly, all of the Tostitos.
We have all of your viewing information right here for the Fiesta Bowl, taking place on Monday, January 2, 2012.
Time: Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM PST from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
TV: The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. You can also stream the game live at ESPN3.com.
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Matt Millen, Heather Cox
Radio: KNBR 680 AM - Dave Flemming (play-by-play), Todd Husak (analyst) and John Platz (sidelines)
Betting Line: The Oklahoma State Cowboys are currently 4-point favorites to win, according to our friends over at OddsShark. The over/under is set at 74.
History: Stanford and Oklahoma State have never faced one another before. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
You can find much more information about this game and related festivities by visiting the official Fiesta Bowl website.
The Stanford Cardinal will face off against the Oklahoma St. Cowboys on Monday in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl. It has been known for quite some time that the bowl appearance will be the last college game for quarterback and two-time Heiman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck, who will enter the 2012 NFL Draft, where he will likely be selected as the number one overall pick.
None of that seems to matter to Stanford head coach David Shaw, according to Kevin Gemmell of ESPN. Shaw has apparently been attempting to talk Luck into coming back for one more year with the Cardinal. He seems to be fully aware that it won't do any good, but you can't fault the guy for trying.
"I rode back from practice yesterday [Saturday] on the bus with him, and the entire time we're talking, I'm trying to find a way, OK, what can I say that will entice him to come back one more year? I couldn't think of anything and it wouldn't have worked anyway.
"It has been an unbelievable four years with him. And I say four. Even the year he didn't play was phenomenal, just to be around him and watch him systematically figure out what this college football thing was about as a true freshman and get ready to play lights out as a sophomore."
Tune in on Monday to see whether Luck will put on a show in his final game similar to the long bomb party that Robert Griffin III threw in the Alamo Bowl last week.
In preparation for the upcoming Fiesta Bowl, Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and few offensive players met with the media at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale on Wednesday, talking about some of the keys to beating the difficult Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Well, Cardinal tight end Coby Fleener had a very simple response:
What will be the keys to Stanford's offensive success?
"That Andrew Luck gets to the game on time."
Over confidence? Hardly. Fleener just knows that Luck comes as advertised:
What do you think that people watching Stanford play for the first time will notice?
"That Andrew's really all he's cracked up to be," Fleener said. "That he is the best player in the nation and he deserves that title."
Luck is only one man, and the Cowboys will have a lot more to deal with than just him. There will be lots of run game coming for the Card, and Andrew Luck doing the dirty work in the red zone. Couple that with the amount of depth this Stanford squad possesses, and the options become innumerable for the offense:
"I tell you, it will make a big difference for us, just to have the ability to be multiple in our personnel groupings," Hamilton said. "This gives us the ability to line up in power run formations with the same personnel grouping that we can line up in empty formations, with no backs in the backfield. And in the red zone, those guys present matchup problems for their opponents."
The red zone won't be the only area of difficulty for the OSU defense, seeing that they play mostly spread offenses in the Big 12. Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Youngspoke about the challenge of dealing with the Cardinals physical style of play that they frankly haven't seen much of this season:
"We've been playing basketball on grass for about nine games, and all of a sudden it's going to be smash mouth football; that's hard to simulate."
If the Cardinal can control the ball and limit the turnovers, they will be quite a tough team to beat. And in Luck's likely last game with Stanford, I have a feeling that he won't disappoint.
For more discussion on Cardinal athletics, head over to Rule of Tree to show off your fanhood.
Apparently having a Heisman Trophy contender twice and a 24-2 record over the last two seasons helps draw in some interest for your football team. Stanford, never known as a national powerhouse in attendance and not the most highly regarded school when it comes to fans traveling well, has sold all 17,500 of their allotted tickets for the January 2nd Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State.
The game is in beautiful Glendale, Arizona, a short flight or (long) roadtrip away for Cardinal fans. The game should be a tight one - two top tier QBs in Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden, two top offenses, and some interesting storylines with the amount of players likely to go pro following the season. It's no wonder college football fans would want to watch, live in person, likely the last collegiate games for Luck, David DeCastro, Justin Blackmon, Weeden and more.
Tiger Woods announced on his blog earlier this month that he'll serve as an honorary captain for Stanford as they take on Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2nd. Said Woods:
Before I begin the new season, I will attend the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 in Arizona to watch Stanford play Oklahoma State. Cardinal head coach David Shaw asked me to be an honorary team captain, and I happily accepted. For Coach Shaw to think highly enough of me to be involved in the game and be able to talk to his kids is very special.
I'm very close to Stanford. They've done so much for me in my life. Everyone knows Coach Shaw and I had a class together. We go way back. It's neat to be able to come back and help him any way that I can.
Woods is a graduate of Stanford and maintains close ties to the school but naturally he'll be a lightning rod for controversy, probably the rest of his career. As SBN's Stanford blog Rule of Tree put it,
Woods, who had a class with Shaw when they attended Stanford together, has served as an honorary captain for the Cardinal before. He performed the ceremonial coin toss and was inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame at the 2009 Big Game, where he stood on the field at halftime with his 2-year old daughter and wife, Elin Nordegren. One week later, the man who then-Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh called "the greatest competitor of our generation," was involved in a bizarre car accident outside his Florida-area home. You know the rest. The Cardinal football team's dramatic rise coincided with Woods's dramatic fall.
The Stanford Cardinal have faced their share of big play receivers this season, including Robert Woods and Marqise Lee of USC, Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones of Cal, Josh Huff of Oregon, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar of Washington, Marquess Wilson of Washington State ... the list goes on.
Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State might be the best of the bunch.
The repeat Biletnikoff winner will be a tough test for a Cardinal secondary that is well-tested against good college wide receivers, and David Shaw knows he has his hands full.
"He's not quite the size of [Cal's] Keenan Allen, but he plays big, like Keenan plays," Shaw explained. "That ball goes up, he's jumping over people. He makes the tough, acrobatic catches. He doesn't have the super speed of [USC's] Robert Woods, but he runs great routes like Robert does. He changes direction, so he's in the middle between those two guys probably."
If I were Shaw, I'd probably just concede the short throws to Blackmon and double-cover him, drape the safety over the top to make sure he isn't a threat to burn you downfield. Let Oklahoma State prove they can run the ball against Stanford's stout front seven before considering throwing it up for grabs.
The Stanford Cardinal may be experiencing their best run in program history and a win at the Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma State Cowboys would be absolutely huge. Despite their recent success, Cardinal fans have not always shown up to support the team at home and on the road. Do not expect that to be the case at the Fiesta Bowl, though. According to recent updates, the program has already sold out its allotment of tickets.
Kevin Gemmell of ESPN has the story:
Remember that bad rap the Cardinal kept getting about not traveling well or having complacent fans? Toss it out. Stanford sold its allotment of 17,500 tickets to the Fiesta Bowl within five days of the game being announced.
This comes on the heels of Stanford selling out six of seven home games this season.
"I think there is great enthusiasm for this team and the players who populate it," Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby said in an email to the San Jose Mercury News. "There is no doubt that the opportunity to see a great group of seniors play one more game was a big motivation."
You already know the football-crazed fans in Oklahoma are going to show up in Glendale for the Fiesta Bowl and it should be a raucous atmosphere on January 2. There are still a few tickets that remain through various venders and prices have been marked up a considerable amount. For those of you hoping to catch the game in-person, the time is now to act and swipe up your tickets.
For more on the Cardinal, head on over to Rule Of Tree.
The Stanford Cardinal are preparing to face off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Tempe at the 2012 Fiesta Bowl. Cardinal head coach David Shaw has been to the event before, although not in any official capacity.
According to Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle, Shaw attended the 1983 Fiesta Bowl in support of his father, Willie, who was on the staff of the Arizona State Sun Devils. ASU secured a victory over the Oklahoma Sooners at that year's game, 32-21.
Shaw looks back on the 1983 Fiesta Bowl with fond memories, particularly of Marcus Dupree, the Sooners running back who was named the game's MVP. You may have heard of Dupree, who was the subject of an episode of ESPN's 30 For 30 documentary series entitled "The Best That Never Was." The college superstar had his playing career cut short by a string of injuries.
You can bet that Shaw is eager to get back to Tempe and looking forward to making a new set of memories. This time around, he'll have a much more active role.
For news and information regarding the Stanford Cardinal, please visit Rule of Tree.
Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon as been tearing it up down in Stillwater essentially since he's got there, but according to ProFootballTalk.com's Evan Silva, the 2012 Fiesta Bowl will be his last in the Black and Orange:
Blackmon caught 113 passes for 1336 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Cowboys this season, and is a finalist for the 2011 Bilitnikoff Award, going to the best receiver in college football each year. Blackmon already won the award last season along with the Big-12 Offensive Player of the Year Award as well.
There is no doubt the the junior is NFL ready, and will likely be a high first round draft pick in 2012. He will undoubtedly want to shine in his last game with OSU, which doesn't bode well for the Stanford Cardinal defense.
The Stanford Cardinal received news on Sunday night that they'll be facing the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012.
The announcement was only the very beginning of an extremely busy week for Stanford quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender Andrew Luck, according to Tom FitzGerald of the Chronicle. On Monday, he'll practice with the team before hopping on a plane for Orlando to attend the College Football Awards. He's also up for the Johnny Unitas Award this week, which is awarded to the nation's top collegiate quarterback. If he should be announced as the winner, he'll be expected to attend a dinner in Baltimore on Friday to accept the award.
And of course, the winner of the Heisman is set to be announced at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. That ceremony takes place in New York, so it would at least be a short flight from Baltimore. Hopefully he'll find some time in there to study, since finals are the following week.
When asked about the Fiesta Bowl's perceived status as a battle of runners-up, Luck disagreed:
"I'll approach it like a championship game - two great teams going at it," he said. "Hopefully it will be a great game to cap off a good ride for all the seniors."
Stanford fans will also be hoping for a great game -- and one that ends Stanford's outstanding 2011 season on a winning note.
To keep in touch with news and information regarding Stanford, please visit Rule of Tree. Oklahoma State's home on the SB Nation network can be found at Cowboys Ride for Free. The full bowl pairings can be located right here.
The Stanford Cardinal will play the Oklahoma St. Cowboys on a neutral field January 2nd, and it figures to be a fairly close matchup on paper. It provides an interest contrast between two offenses that both have proven to be equally potent.
Oklahoma State has a really potent offense with the veteran Brandon Weeden as their signal-caller. The Cowboys rely on a short quick passing game that's intent to use team speed and athleticism to overwhelm their opponents. It could present a difficult task for Stanford to deal with, considering how much their defense struggled to keep up with Oregon.
Stanford should present more variety with a balanced attack, but they have been somewhat constrained in their ability to stretch the field without deep threat receivers to complement Andrew Luck. So Stanford is probably not quite as able to get things going against what looks like a strong Oklahoma State defense. It's why the Cowboys are probably 3 to 3.5 point favorites according to Oddsshark, although it's hardly a referendum on their chances in this game.
The Stanford Cardinal won't win the Pac-12 with Andrew Luck, and they won't be going to the national championship game. But they will play in what amounts to a third place contest in their second straight return to the BCS.
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated reports that the BCS matchups are set. The LSU Tigers will play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Title game. That means Stanford (4th in the BCS last week, likely 4th in the BCS this week) will play the Oklahoma St. Cowboys (3rd in the BCS last week, 3rd in the BCS this week), who apparently didn't impress the voters enough to go to the BCS National Championship game.
It'll be a fascinating matchup between two teams with two very balanced offenses. Can Andrew Luck keep Stanford's offense rolling with all his best receivers likely to return to action, and use their balance to overwhelm Oklahoma State's defense? Will Oklahoma State's spread give Stanford's slower defenders troubles like Oregon did?
Should be a good night-time matchup on January 2nd in Tempe.
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