Oklahoma State became the first Big 12 team to take care of business in a bowl game this year, and did it pretty impressively. The Cowboys made plays on both sides of the ball and finished the season on a high note. Here's some instant analysis on the Cowboys' 36-10 win.
How the game was won: Oklahoma State did what Oklahoma States does: score points. The Cowboys hadn't been held under 33 points with Justin Blackmon in the lineup this year, and there wasn't much reason to believe Arizona would be the first team to do it. It wasn't, and the Cowboys offensive consistency throughout the game allowed them to pull away while Arizona's offense struggled with turnovers, sacks, penalties and various other miscues kept it from keeping up.
Turning point I: Arizona got off to a great start, forcing Oklahoma State into a quick punt on the opening possession, but the Wildcats muffed the kick, and Oklahoma State recovered. Six plays and 26 yards later, the Cowboys were up 7-0 and that was about as close as Arizona got all night.
Turning point II: Arizona trailed 17-7 in the second quarter and had the ball in Oklahoma State territory, but quarterback Nick Foles didn't have enough zip on an out route to the right sideline. Cowboys safety Markelle Martin picked it off and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. That put Oklahoma State up 23-7 and was the first of three interceptions for Foles.
Stat of the game: Arizona turnovers: 4. Oklahoma State turnovers: 0. Enough said. You won't win many games with a turnover margin that lopsided, and that's especially true when you're playing an offense with as many productive talents as the Cowboys.
Player of the game: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State. Weeden didn't have a huge statistical night (24-of-40, 240 yards, 2 TDs), but he made a handful of big throws, didn't turn it over and completed at least two passes to five receivers. A solid night, and considering the turnovers from Arizona, a ton of offense from Oklahoma State wasn't a requirement to win convincingly.
Record performance: Blackmon caught nine passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first player in college football history to have 100 yards receiving and a touchdown in 12 consecutive games. Blackmon has done it in every start this season.
What it means: Oklahoma State wins 11 games for the first time in school history in a season that it was picked to finish fifth in the Big 12 South. Oklahoma State was easily the biggest surprise in the Big 12 this year, and Weeden, Blackmon and Hunter were the biggest reasons why. The biggest offseason loss for the program will be offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who is headed to West Virginia, but whoever replaces him will have plenty to work with even after Hunter graduates and if Blackmon leaves for the NFL. Weeden seems likely to return in 2011, Oklahoma State returns all five offensive linemen, and young skill position talent like running backs Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith and receivers Michael Harrison, Josh Cooper and Tracy Moore look capable of being dangerous in 2011.