Five things to know about the Valero Alamo Bowl pitting No. 14 Oklahoma State against Arizona, on ESPN at 9 ET from San Antonio.
1) Oklahoma State won 10 regular-season games for the first time in program history and recorded 10 wins overall for the first time since 1988, when Barry Sanders won the Heisman. Now the Cowboys aim for their first 11-win season.
Arizona is trying to win at least eight games in three straight seasons for the first time since joining the Pac-10. The last time the Wildcats did it was 1973 to 1975, when they were in the WAC.
2) Oklahoma State’s offense can move quickly. The Cowboys have 47 touchdown drives this season of more than 60 yards, third most in the FBS, and 16 of those have been in under a minute and a half, the most in the nation.
Most Touchdown Drives of 60+ Yards
In 90 Seconds or Fewer
3) Justin Blackmon is having one of the greatest receiving seasons in FBS history and is on the verge of an impressive record. He has had at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in all 11 of his games this season (he sat out the Kansas State game due to suspension), which is tied for the longest streak all-time, with Aaron Turner of Pacific (1990-1991).
Blackmon is also just seven yards shy of Larry Fitzgerald’s NCAA record for receiving yards by a sophomore (1,672 in 2003).
He has 20 receiving touchdowns this season, and 11 of them have been from more than 20 yards out. Those 11 are the most in the FBS.
When Brandon Weeden sees pressure from Arizona, he’ll probably look for Blackmon, who is targeted more than any other Oklahoma State receiver when defenses blitz Weeden. He connected on 86 percent of his pass attempts thrown Weeden's way on blitzes, 61 percent of passes thrown to others.
Nick Foles Pass Att of 20+ Yards
2010 Conference Games
4) Arizona began the season with a 7-1 record, but lost four straight to end the year. In the first eight games of the season, Arizona outgained its opponents on the ground by 64 yards per game. In the last four games, the Wildcats were outgained by an average of 133 yards.
5) Arizona quarterback Nick Foles really excels when he slings the ball downfield on first down. He’s 10-for-19 throwing the ball 20 or more yards in the air on first down, with five touchdown throws. But on second and third down, in the more obvious passing situations, he’s just 5-for-22 with one touchdown on those deep throws.