Year in and year out the Alamo Bowl is usually one of the better bowl games. The Big 12/Pac 10 match up has been good for all parties involved. This year the Alamo Bowl hit a home run even by its own standards. Oklahoma State is the number one offense in the country. Arizona has a big play defense that is capable of disrupting anyone. Having faced Oregon the Wildcats will be ready for Oklahoma State who will be without offensive coordinator Dana Holgerson. They will also be extra motivation to end the four game season ending losing streak. Oklahoma State has a chance to finish in the Top 10 and be the highest ranked team from the Big 12.
3 Keys from the scouts.
1. Will the Cowboys have an answer for Arizona’s defensive pressure? The wildcats are relentless and Brandon Weeded can’t throw if he’s on the ground. Fortunately for Weeden and Justin Blackmon, running back Kendall Hunter is talented and versatile enough to keep the Wildcats front 7 honest and open up some play action passing.
2. Which Nick Foles will show up? Before getting injured Nick Foles was catching the eyes of the NFL scouts who are always on the lookout for talented quarterbacks. Since returning from injury Foles hasn’t looked the same and Arizona’s season has suffered. The extra time to prepare should help.
3. Will Arizona be able to stop both Kendall Hunter and Justin Blackmon? Honestly the best way to stop Blackmon is to stop Weeden before he throws the ball. Kendall Hunters presence makes that more difficult. The threat of screen passes, flares, and simple power running will force the Wildcats to have to cover Blackmon for longer periods of time. That hasn’t been a recipe for success this season for the Cowboys opponents.
Bold Prediction: Arizona badly needs to turn its season around. Oklahoma State needs to replace offensive coordinator/guru Dana Holgerson. This looks like a trap game for sure but Oklahoma State is too good a team to be phased by a few distractions. Hunter is playing his last college game, Weeden and Blackmon might be too. The Cowboys have plenty of motivation to succeed. OSU 41 Arizona 23
|1st||Justin Blackmon||WR||81||3So||Tremendous receiver prospect that projects as a number one on the NFL level.|
|2nd||Kendall Hunter||RB||24||4Sr||Amazingly creative runner who eludes defenders and consistently makes something out of nothing. Terrific pass catcher out of the backfield and gives effort blocking. Lacks great measurables yet plays big. Rebounded well from injuries and was dominant this season.|
|6-7||Ugo Chinasa||DE||91||5Sr||Developing pass rusher who runs hot and cold. Looks dominant on one play then disappears for several series at a time.|
|FA||Markelle Martin||S||10||3Jr||Solid run defending safety best playing downhill.|
|FA||Chris Donaldson||DT||95||4Sr||Fluid college tackle who plays with great quickness and explosion. Potential three technique lineman.|
|2nd||Juron Criner||WR||82||3Jr||Reliable receiver with tremendous size flying up draft boards. Has the makings of a number one wide out in the NFL.|
|1-2||Nick Foles||QB||5||4Jr||Strong armed passer with a developing game. Offers upside but also needs work. Making the correct decision by staying in school.|
|3rd||Brooks Reed||DE||42||5Sr||Versatile defender who plays with an incredible motor. Being compared to Clay Matthews.|
|5th||Adam Grant||T||78||6Sr||Highly considered tackle prospect in scouting circles.|
|5-6||Nic Grigsby||RB||5||4Sr||Solid prospect who shows power in his running as well as the ability to turn the corner. Needs to be more consistent.|
|7-FA||Ricky Elmore||DE||44||5Sr||Terrific college pass rusher coming off a career year. Rush linebacker at the next level.|
Game Preview: Brent Foshee
Prospect Preview: Tony Pauline