One would think that holding the high-powered offense of Oklahoma State to 312 total yards of offense would guarantee a victory. But how wrong one would be if you looked at the box score of the Alamo Bowl, where Oklahoma State won with big defensive plays and solid work from its quarterback, Brandon Weeden.
The Cowboys won Wednesday night 36-10 over Arizona. Yes, Oklahoma State didn’t play their best ball game, particularly on the offensive side of things. But Arizona didn’t help themselves that much, combining for four turnovers, numerous penalties, two missed field goals, and plenty of other mistakes made on both sides of the ball.
My first observation is this: Nick Foles looked bad. Maybe he isn’t completely healthy, or maybe it was just the pressure of Oklahoma State’s defensive lineman, but Foles was clearly out of sync tonight. The talented group of receivers that the Wildcats have wasn’t able to do a thing against a horrendous pass defense of the Cowboys that, actually, wasn’t terrible at all. I’m surprised coach Stoops didn’t go with Matt Scott at some point in the second half to see if he provided a spark.
Running the ball wasn’t very successful for Arizona in the Alamo Bowl, either. Keola Antolin got hurt on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first half, and he only carried the ball one time. Nic Grigsby had some nice runs, but for the most part was bottled up nicely by the Cowboy defense. Greg Nwoko, similar to Grigsby, tried to power his way for yardage, but Oklahoma State was just too tough to allow much more than a couple of yards per rush.
The defense of Arizona was pretty good tonight, especially stopping the run. But when it counted, they couldn’t contain Brandon Weeden enough to force much of anything. Justin Blackmon had a typical game, nine catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns, but a host of other playmakers made nice plays for the Cowboys. Weeden had all day to throw, as the defensive line of Arizona couldn’t get any pressure up front.
So what’s next for the Wildcats? Well, they end the season at 7-6, losing five games in a row to finish things. That means that Mike Stoops’ chair is a little warm right now. Surely, Stoops has done a remarkable job taking a former doormat of the Pac-10 to a consistent winning program. But Arizona isn’t there yet. Next season, UA will face these Cowboys again, in nonconference action. And with the new Pac-12 being installed for next year, consider Arizona and Arizona State the early favorites to win the Pac-12 South Division.
About the Author
Written by Henry Childs
I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon studying Broadcast Journalism. Although I have a love for my Ducks, I am simply an avid college football fan trying to get a head start in the sports journalism world. Born and raised in Portland, I am also a ginormous Portland Trailblazers fan. Some of my loves include golf, Dr. Pepper, pugs, and living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.