Purdue vs. Oklahoma State Analysis: 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl 1/1

Last Updated: December 31st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Heart of Dallas Bowl LogoThe 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl picks are going to be difficult to make, as the Purdue Boilermakers and Oklahoma State Cowboys are set to do battle with one another in a Big XII vs. Big Ten battle. Check out our Heart of Dallas Bowl predictions and the keys to the game for Purdue vs. Oklahoma State.

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2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue Boilermakers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl Location: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX
2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl Television Coverage: ESPNU, Watch ESPN

Key #1: The Boilermakers have to believe that they can keep up
We have seen this time and time again in Oklahoma State games. The Cowboys have the goods to race right out of the blocks and put a ton of points on the board in bunches. However, they also have a defense this year that allowed 285.7 passing yards and 29.4 points per game as well. Teams like the Baylor Bears and Oklahoma Sooners had success trying to move the ball up and down the field against this team, and the Boilermakers have to believe that they can do that as well. There really isn’t much in the way of tangible stats that suggest that the Boilers can hang in this game, as there isn’t a receiver with even 700 yards or a rusher with even 800 yards, and even the quarterback play has been suspect all year long. However, it all looked just as bad for the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten, and they were able to stick around in a very comparable game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Okie State will go on a 21-0 run at some point in this game in all likelihood. It’s just a matter of how the Boilermakers respond to that adversity.

Heart of Dallas Bowl Odds at Diamond Sportsbook
Purdue Boilermakers +17
Oklahoma State Cowboys -17
Over/Under 70
Click Here to Bet Your Heart of Dallas Bowl Picks!

Key #2: The Cowboys have to prove that they can win a close one
Maybe this will end up being a close game. Maybe it won’t. But if it is a close call, Head Coach Mike Gundy has to be a bit cautious about how his team finishes games. There was a chance to beat both the Baylor Bears and the Oklahoma Sooners in the last two weeks of the year, but both games were ultimately lost. The Kansas State Wildcats were right there with the Cowboys for the full 60 minutes and ultimately won by two touchdowns, while the Texas Longhorns were able to come to Stillwater and win a controversial 41-36 game. There were only five games all year long that were decided by two touchdowns or fewer that Okie State played in, and the men in white and orange were on the wrong end of all of those games. Whether it be an untimely penalty, a mistake of a throw, a botched snap… Something has always kept the Pokes from winning those close ones, and this is going to be a game to be careful with for sure.

Key #3: Akeem Shavers absolutely has to score at least one touchdown
Here’s a heck of a stat for all of you Purdue fans that has to give you some cause for hope in this game. RB Akeem Shavers had six games this year in which he rushed for a touchdown. The team went 6-0 in those games. There were six games this year in which he didn’t rush for a touchdown. The Boilers went 0-6 in those games. Oh sure, it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than just one rushing touchdown from the Boilermakers’ top running back to have any chance of winning the Heart of Dallas Bowl, but it’s a good start. Figure that Purdue has to figure out how to score at least three touchdowns offensive in this game to have a chance, and we have to think that for that to happen, Shavers is going to have to find the end zone at least once, and potentially a few more times than that to ultimately give the Boilers a fighting chance of staying in this game.

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Posted in College Football - Last Updated on Monday, December 31st, 2012 @ 10:10 am (EST)
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