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.