The TicketCity Cactus Bowl saw Oklahoma State beat Washington 30-22, and the Cowboys have now won three times in Arizona since the Huskies' last victory in the state in 2006. This is remarkable considering the fact that Mike Gundy's team doesn't play in the Pac-12. Here are the nuts and bolts of Oklahoma State's victory.
How the game was won: The Cowboys jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead fueled by powerful performances from freshman quarterback Mason Rudolph and senior running back Desmond Roland. Meanwhile, Washington's rather stale offense could not capitalize on a pair of Oklahoma State turnovers in the first half, and the Cowboys took full advantage in building their large cushion. Rudolph finished this game 17-for-26 for 299 yards and two touchdowns, while Roland proved to be a dependable offensive weapon following the dismissal of Tyreek Hill. He muscled his way to 123 hard-earned yards. One rumble pushed what had been a stout Washington defense backward about 10 yards.
Game ball goes to: James Castleman. The 300-pound defensive tackle registered three stops and a takedown in the backfield, but his contributions on the other side of the ball stole the show. Early in the first quarter, Gundy gave Castleman a chance on offense, and he obliged by opening the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown rumble. Then, late in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys needed to convert a third-and-short to help put the game on ice. Castleman lined up as a fullback, and Rudolph found him on play-action for a critical 48-yard gain that's further glorified below.
It was over when: Oklahoma State defensive back Kevin Peterson intercepted Washington quarterback Cyler Miles with 38 seconds remaining. Thanks to a missed field goal, the Huskies had managed to stay on life support up to this point late in the fourth quarter. But Peterson's pick snuffed out any final hopes of a comeback.
Stat of the game: Eleven and a half minutes. That's how much longer Oklahoma State held possession of the ball than Washington in this game. The Cowboys won that battle 35:45 to 24:15, and it showed down the stretch as a fatigued Washington defense struggled to tackle.
Best play: Well, we promised that we weren't done talking about Castleman's 48-yard rumble off the play-action throw into the near flat. The 300-pounder bruised through helpless Washington defenders and even carried one on his back for a few yards at the end of the play. Aside from being supremely entertaining, Castleman's contribution essentially put this game away for Oklahoma State.