Pac-10 Preview: Alamo Bowl Edition
Oklahoma State (10-2) vs Arizona (7-5)
Wednesday, December 29
6:00 p.m. PT / ESPN
Arizona players to watch:
- QB Nick Foles, Jr. - Battled some injuries this season while starting 10 games and throwing for nearly 3,000 yards with 19 TDs and only 7 picks. This 6'5 pocket passer can make all the throws in the book with laser-like accuracy.
- WR Juron Criner, Jr. - This is the best receiver in the West and one of the top playmakers in the entire country. He is a mismatch type player with his 6'4 frame to go with 4.45 play speed. Finished the season with 73 catches for 1186 yards and 10 TDs.
- DT Justin Washington, Fr. - Recently named to the Freshman All-America team after racking up an impressive 45 tackles with 10.5 TFLs and 6 sacks. Already a force in the middle, this youngster can become downright dominant in the next couple of years.
- DE Brooks Reed, Sr. - This player plays every snap like it's his last. A tad undersized for a true DE, he could easily make the switch to OLB at the next level. He plays on his feet with impressive balance and body control while chasing the ball from sideline to sideline.
Oklahoma State players to watch:
- QB Brandon Weeden, Jr. - leads the Cowboys offense with precision passing. Threw for 4037 yards in the regular season with 32 TDs and 13 INTs. He is a tall pocket guy with decent mobility and very good accuracy and decision-making ability.
- WR Justin Blackmon, So. - Will be a cinch first round pick if he decides to opt for the NFL Draft in April. His 1665 receiving yards and 18 TDs are tops in the nation. He is big, strong and fast with exceptional ability to pluck the ball in traffic.
- RB Kendall Hunter, Sr. - This small but shifty runner ran for 1558 yards and 16 TDs this season. Runs hard between the tackles for a small man and is hard to contain with his quick lateral cutting ability and burst in the open field. More of a situational back at the NFL level but is electric with the ball in his hands.
- LB Orie Lemon, Sr. - This 245-pound NFL prospect leads the team with 119 tackles on the season. Lacks true explosiveness but is quietly very productive, slipping blockers and finding the football on a consistent basis.
This battle will pit the explosive Oklahoma State spread offense against the underrated and opportunistic Arizona defense. The Cowboys offense is a carbon copy of the Texas Tech offenses as they are led by Mike Leach disciple Dana Holgorsen. They like to go with five receiver packages and throw the ball to set up the run, a difficult combination to stop, especially with their talented skill players. The Arizona Wildcats should also be able to move the ball against a Cowboys defense that has given up 35 points or more four different times this season, including 51 to Nebraska. They will try to pound the ball and control the clock as much as possible to keep the scoring down, but I expect a high scoring affair featuring several big plays.