Fiesta Bowl Keys to the Game – Stanford vs. Oklahoma State 1/2/12

Last Updated: January 2nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Both the Stanford Cardinal and Oklahoma State Cowboys finished up their season with 11 wins, but both fell short of their ultimate goal by a single game. They’ll try to beat the Fiesta Bowl odds in the second BCS bowl game of the year on January 2nd.

Fiesta Bowl: Stanford Cardinal vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Fiesta Bowl Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Fiesta Bowl Date/Time: Monday, January 2nd, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Fiesta Bowl Television Coverage: ESPN,

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2011-12 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: These teams have to prove that they want to be here
This is the second straight season that both the Cowboys and the Cardinal have really fallen short of their ultimate goal. Neither team failed so late in the season though to cost them the ultimate prize, and the end result saw Stanford kill the Virginia Tech Hokies in the BCS and had Oklahoma State destroying the Arizona Wildcats in the Alamo Bowl. Now, both teams are in the BCS once again, but again, neither one was able to be a National Championship contender due to their one flaw. We have to wonder if there is going to be a bit of a hangover for either side. Stanford still doesn’t quite look like it is totally over the loss to the Oregon Ducks, as it hasn’t been as dominating down the stretch as it was in the beginning of the season, while the Cowboys looked tremendous in Bedlam against the Oklahoma Sooners in their first action after their lone loss to the Iowa State Cyclones.

Fiesta Bowl Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Stanford Cardinal +3.5
Oklahoma State Cowboys -3.5
Over/Under 74
Click Here to Bet The Fiesta Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Andrew Luck needs to find a receiver to do damage
Luck didn’t win the Heisman Trophy this year even though he was considered the runaway favorite for the mass majority of the season, and part of the problem is that he really didn’t have a bona fide wide receiver to get the ball to. Sure, his tight ends were dominating all season long, and TE Coby Fleener was as awesome as a tight end could be at the collegiate level. WR Griff Whalen caught 49 passes for 664 yards and four scores, but perhaps Luck’s best target, WR Chris Owusu has been dealing with a concussion for the majority of the season. We aren’t counting on him for the Fiesta Bowl, but we know that someone else is going to have to step up on the outside to do some damage. If not, the Pokes are going to be able to load the box up and try to take away the rushing game with RB Stepfan Taylor, and if that’s the case, Stanford is going to be back basically in the same situation that it was in against Oregon when it was blown out of the water by three TDs on its home turf.


Key #3: Justin Blackmon has to be stopped
When you look at the numbers that the Cowboys put up this year, they are absolutely devastating. RB Joseph Randle had nearly 1,200 rushing yards and a whopping 25 trips to the end zone this year, and backup RB Jeremy Smith also had 645 yards on just 90 carries, nine of which went for TDs. QB Brandon Weeden completed 72.6 percent of his passes and accounted for 4,328 yards and 34 TDs versus just a dozen picks. However, the man that really has made this offense go for the past two years has been Blackmon. He only averaged 11.8 yards per reception this year, a far cry from his 16.1 a season ago, but he once again hauled in just a slew of passes (113 to be exact) and had 1,336 yards with 15 TDs. Blackmon is as talented of a receiver as there is in the nation, and assuming that he comes out of school this year and heads to the pros, he is likely going to step onto an NFL roster and become a true No. 1 wide out for a team that is willing to take him in the first dozen picks or so in the NFL Draft. The whole offense opens up when Blackmon is going, and the Cowboys have to have him in a big time way to keep up in what could be a major league shootout against the Cardinal.

Click Here to get the best college football picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our Fiesta Bowl picks and the NCAA football picks for the rest of the bowl game odds.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 @ 8:04 am (EST)
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