It took a dramatic come-from-behind win in Bedlam against hated in-state rival Oklahoma to garner the elusive sixth win that propelled Oklahoma State into the 2014 Cactus Bowl and a ninth consecutive bowl appearance for the Big 12 Cowboys.
The Cowboys (6-6) will go up against the University of Washington (8-5) in the TicketCity Cactus Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday.
Oklahoma State will be handicapped in its bowl appearance, having to go without the star of the Bedlam win, Tyreek Hill. The speedy running back/return specialist was suspended just a couple of days after the OSU win over Oklahoma on a domestic violence charge.Dec 6, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Desmond Roland (26) runs the ball against Oklahoma Sooners safety Steven Parker (11) during the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Junior Daax Garman started at quarterback most of the season for the Cowboys, but was replaced the final two regular-season games by true-freshman Mason Rudolph when Garman went down with a concussion. Rudolph is expected to get the start in the bowl game against Washington.
Rudolph has thrown for 544 yards and four touchdowns in his two late-season starts. With Hill out, most of the running duties will go to senior Desmond Roland, who has 647 yards on the ground in 2014 and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Rudolph will look for David Glidden and Brandon Sheperd on passing plays. The two have combined for 74 catches on the season. Sheperd has four touchdown receptions.
The Cowboys are led on defense by 6-4, 270-pound sophomore defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who was voted the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Quarterback Cyler Miles leads the Washington offense. Miles completed 67 percent of his passes in the regular season, throwing for 2,129 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Huskies were the fourth best defense in the Pac-12 this season. As a team the Washington defensive unit recorded 49 sacks, forced 27 turnovers and scored nine defensive or return touchdowns this season.
Junior Shaq Thompson plays both ways for the Huskies. He plays linebacker on defense, and he ran for 456 yards and two touchdowns as a tailback on offense.
The Big 12 owns a record of 6-2 in games played in Tempe and is 8-3 against teams from the Pac-12 in the last five years. The Cowboys are 3-0 in games played in the Valley of the Sun.
Who will win and why: Washington 34, Oklahoma State 20 – Washington head coach Chris Peterson was the former head coach at Boise State, and we know how well he did there. He is a very good coach, and he has a long history of winning. The Oklahoma State offense is not that good this year, and the Cowboys have lost key weapons on offense along the way. The Washington defense will be the winning factor in this game.