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Heart of Dallas Bowl preview

College Bowl season continues, we're on the home straight now, not so many left.. Here's another preview by James Jack, @materialista27. Read more of his work on his dedicated College Bowl site.

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Heart of Dallas Bowl

Tuesday January 1st, 11:00 CST (17:00 GMT)
Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Purdue Boilermakers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys


The Heart of Dallas Bowl is one of the newest Bowls of the season, first played in January 2011, after the Cotton Bowl game moved to Cowboys Stadium. The Cotton Bowl opened in 1930 and hosted the Cotton Bowl in 1937 and every subsequent year until 2009. The Cotton Bowl stadium was also used to host games at the 1994 FIFA World Cup and played host to the best game of the tournament and arguably the best goal. This year's game features the 7th team from the Big-Ten and the 8th team from the Big-12, however next year's game will replace the Big-12 team with a school from Conference-USA, like it did last year.

Purdue muddled through their schedule losing five on the spin starting with (18)Michigan and finishing with Bill O'Brien's Penn State. They won a wild one over Indiana in the regular season finale to secure bowl eligibility, then promptly fired Head Coach Danny Hope. Senior QB Robert Marve leads the offense and despite playing through a torn ACL, he has put up 1522 passing yards and 13 TDs. He'll spend almost all of his time in the pocket and as a result, the rushing game is carried by Akeem Shavers. Shavers tallied 778 yards this season along with 6 touchdowns and will be relied upon to provide the spark for this offense. Every game he's scored a touchdown in this season, the Boilermakers have won. Antavian Edwards has amassed 625 yards on the outside and pulled in 8 touchdowns, giving some balance to the offense. Purdue have an excellent defensive line, the highlight of which is Tackle Kawann Short, a first round projection on most people's draft board. He needs to play well and hold Oklahoma State out if the Boilermakers are to have any chance.

Although Oklahoma State finished the season 7-5, all five of those losses came at the hands of Bowl-bound teams (3-0 so far with Kansas State and Oklahoma to come) and they did post impressive wins over Texas Tech and TCU. The Cowboys strength all season has been their offense. They rank 3rd in scoring offense, (44.7 points per game) 5th in total yards per game, (548.9) 7th in passing yards (333.4) and 22nd in rushing yards (215.5) that's pretty impressive going into this game. Those are dangerous numbers for a Purdue defense that gives up 406.8 yards per game. Running back Joseph Randle had 1351 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, and despite using three different quarterbacks during the season, Josh Stewart tallied 1154 yards and 7 touchdowns receiving. Quarterback for this game will be Clint Chelf who started the last four games of the season after replacing Wes Lunt against Kansas State totalling 1391 yards and 12 TDs while recording six interceptions. Head Coach Mike Gundy has said Chelf deserves the start, but it's clear that OK State have options if Chelf doesn't work out in this game. Hopefully Gundy knows how to use his quarterbacks better than Rex Ryan.

FOR PURDUE TO WIN
They have to stop the run and hope their secondary is good enough to keep them in the game. Kawann Short is a massive player in this game for Purdue and they need him to bring his a-game to stop Joseph Randle from stomping all over the front seven. The pass defense also has to be better than it was during the regular season, even if they could limit the Cowboys to 225-ish yards, that probably won't be good enough.

FOR OKLAHOMA STATE TO WIN
Share the love. The Cowboys have one of the most balanced offenses in the league and they should look to beat Purdue where the Boilermakers let them. If they want to stack the box and stop the run, then start passing it around. If they decide to bring in an extra defensive back, then run it up the gut. The Cowboys should come out and try to keep Purdue guessing, they have the firepower to win this big, for me it's only a question of whether they can beat the spread.

VERDICT
The Oklahoma State offense will win this one and it's a toss-up whether they'll do it by passing or rushing. How that plays out is entirely on the Purdue defense.

ADVICE
OK State -17
Over 70.5 points

DRINKING GAME
1 drink: Any sightings of former Purdue students now in the NFL (alumni list)
2 drinks: Any sighting of Barry Sanders
Finish it: Any Star Wars reference (A New Hope most likely)

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