Saturday, December 31, 2011

Boomer's Fiesta Bowl Preview

Preview: 2012 Fiesta Bowl 41st edition “Shoot-out in the Desert”

            Date/Time: January 2, 2012 8:30 PM (EST)

            Stanford Cardinals (11-1) vs. Oklahoma St. Cowboys (11-1) Favorite: Cowboys by 3

            All-Time Series: 1st meeting between the two teams

Boomers Four Keys in creating a “Fiesta”:

1)     Andrew Luck vs. Brandon Weeden     

I can’t imagine seeing these two teams in this game, if it were not for the two quarterbacks on each side. Andrew Luck the foregone #1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft had a stellar season, 3,170 passing yards, 35 TD’s (5th in the nation) to only 9 INT’s. The Heisman Runner-up the past 2 seasons, Luck showed all season what kind of quarterback he would be in the future. Weeden, 28 haha, led Oklahoma State to their 1st Big 12 Championship in school history. Weeden’s numbers were among the leaders in the nation, 73% passes completed, 4,328 passing yards, and 34 TD’s. In the end, I like Weeden and his sidekick two-time Biletnikoff Winner Justin Blackmon (1336 receiving yards and 15 TD’s.) Advantage: Oklahoma State

2)     Stepfan Taylor vs. Joseph Randle

With the focus of both offenses being on the passing attack, I believe whichever team can mixed in the running game most effectively, will go a long way in winning this game. Stepfan Taylor was the Cardinals #1 running back providing the Cardinal attack with 1,314 total offensive yards and 10 TD’s. Taylor will be counted on to provid the Cardinals offense with some balance, and help open up the passing game for Luck. Joseph Randle finished the regular season with 1,193 rushing yards and 23 TD’s (4th in the nation). Randle also showed he could be a reliable set of hands catching the ball out of the backfield (38 catches, 238 yards, 2 TD’s). Both running backs will do a great job spelling each one of their Quarterbacks, but I’m going to have to go with Randle in this match-up. Advantage: Oklahoma State

3)     Let-Down vs. Opportunity

Each team is probably thinking, “what if”, with both teams being passed over by Alabama (another one-loss team) to play LSU in the National Championship. With that, both teams can play this game two ways, play like you have been left off the “invite” list or show the nation on national television that you deserved a shot at the National Championship. Both programs are excellently coached and I can’t see either playing below their potential. Both teams will play with a chip on their shoulder. Advantage: Both teams

4)     David Shaw vs. Mike Gundy

Both coaches will be coaching in their first BCS bowl game as Head Coaches, Coach Shaw being on the Stanford staff last year as an assistant. Coach Shaw took over the Stanford program from previous Coach Jim Harbaugh (watch your handshake with that guy, haha) and guided the Cardinals to an 11-1 record in his 1st year at the helm. Coach Gundy has come a long way from his “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant, to guide the Cowboys to the schools first ever Big 12 Championship. It will be interesting to see how each one matches each other as the game goes along. I’m leaning towards the more experienced coach in Gundy in this one, coming up with a BCS bowl victory. Advantage: Oklahoma State

Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Stanford 35. I’M A MAN, IM 25!