Purdue will take on Oklahoma State in the 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank as post-season college football returns to the historic Cotton Bowl for the third-straight year. The game, which features schools from the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences, will be played on New Year’s Day with an 11 a.m. (CT) kickoff for the contest to be televised nationally by ESPNU.
In the only previous meeting between the two schools, Joe Tiller’s Boilermakers defeated Bob Simmons’ Cowboys 33-20 at the 1997 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on December 30. Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken passed for 325 yards as Purdue overcame a 13-10 deficit by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter to secure the win.
With a 6-6 record, Purdue closed out the 2012 regular-season with three consecutive wins over the Big Ten "I" schools (Iowa, Illinois and Indiana) to become bowl eligible in back-to-back years for the first-time since the 2006-2007 seasons. Overall, Purdue has a 9-7 bowl record, including a 37-32 post-season win last December overWestern Michigan in Detroit at the Little Caesars Bowl.
The "Three-I" victories also marked the first-time since 2006 that the Boilermakers had finished their Big Ten schedule with three-straight wins. The six teams that Purdue has lost to this season are a combined 50-19, including the only two undefeated teams in the FBS (Notre Dame and Ohio State).
Leading the Boilermaker offense is senior quarterback Robert Marve, who guided Purdue to the three-straight wins. Marve finished with career-highs 348 yards and four touchdown passes against rival Indiana by completing 20 of 29 passes against the Hoosiers. He missed three games earlier in the season due to his third ACL knee injury of his career.
Senior running back Akeem Shavers complimented Marve's play against Indiana by posting 225 yards of total offense (126 rushing, 99 receiving) and three touchdowns, including a 73-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. He has the two longest receiving plays of the year for Purdue. For the season, Shaver has 778 yards rushing and 316 yards receiving with nine total touchdowns.
With sophomore linebacker Landon Feichter leading the defense with 76 total tackles, senior defensive tackle Kawann Short is third nationally amongst active FBS players in career tackles for loss (48) and is 17th career sacks(18.5). Senior defensive back Ricardo Allen’s four career interception returns for touchdowns are tied for the most amongst active FBS players and his 205 interception return yards are 14th nationally.
Oklahoma State will be playing in its 23rd post-season game after completing the 2012 regular-season with a 7-5 record. The Cowboys finished behind Kansas State and Oklahoma to tie Texas for third-place in the Big 12 standings with a 5-4 record. OSU has a 14-8 bowl record with a 4-2 mark with Coach Mike Gundy at the helm.
The Cowboys have played two previous bowl games at the historic Cotton Bowl, including their initial post-season appearance in 1945 when Oklahoma State defeated TCU 34-0 behind legendary Bob Fenimore and a defense that allowed the Horned Frogs 105 total yards. In 2004 Cotton Bowl, Ole Miss’s Eli Manning led his team to a 31-28 victory over the Cowboys. Oklahoma State’s Josh Fields set a Cotton Bowl record that day with 307 yards on 21-of-33 passing.
Gundy has now led the Cowboys to seven-straight bowl appearances (an OSU first) and won at least seven games in seven-straight seasons (another school first) and at least nine games in four straight seasons (yet another first). In becoming the winningest coach in OSU history early this season, Gundy has compiled a 66-35 mark as his 2011 Cowboys captured the Big 12 title and posted a 41-38 Fiesta Bowl win over Stanford in overtime this past January.
The high-powered Oklahoma State offense ranks fourth in the nation in scoring (44.7 points a game) and fifth in total offense (548.9 yards per contest) as the Cowboy passing attack has compiled 333.4 yards per game to rank seventh nationally. The Cowboys have used three quarterbacks this season as each member in the trio has thrown for more than 1,000 yards.
Junior Clint Chelf is the current starting QB for the Cowboys as he passed for 333 yards and two scores last week at Baylor to improve his season totals to 1,391 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has led the Cowboys to a 2-2 record in the school's last four games against West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor.
J.W. Walsh has started three games and passed for 1,478 yards and 11 TDs. True freshman Wes Lunt has completed 62.5 percent of his passes (80-128) with six touchdowns to go with his 1,096 passing yards. Each of the Cowboy quarterbacks has won a conference game. Chelf beat West Virginia andTexas Tech. Lunt beat TCU and Walsh beat Kansas and Iowa State.
Joseph Randle leads the Cowboy ground game as the junior has the 17th-best rushing mark in the nation with 1,351 yards and 14 touchdowns. In addition to posting eight 100-yard rushing games this season, Randle has caught 28 passes for 228 yards. Randle has rushed for 3,019 yards in his career with 40 scores along with catching 108 passes in two-plus seasons with OSU for 917 yards and three touchdowns. Randle is just the sixth Cowboy to rush for 1,000 yards in more than one season as he compiled 1,216 yards as a sophomore in 2011.