Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has one more job left to do in Stillwater before he exits for West Virginia. Holgorsen will be calling the plays for the Cowboys' high-powered offense when they face Arizona in the 18th Alamo Bowl. He will then assume the same duties for the Mountaineers for 2011 before taking the reins as head coach in 2012.
Oklahoma State has been known for its offense for quite some time under head coach Mike Gundy, but Holgorsen somehow managed to take it to an even higher level of performance. It should not, therefore, come as any surprise that the Cowboys led the nation in total offense heading into the 2010 bowl season.
Houston led the nation in total offense in 2009 and finished 2nd in 2008 when Holgorsen was with the Cougars. From '05 to '07, he held the same position at Texas Tech and the Red Raiders were No. 2 in '07, No. 6 in '06 and No. 4 in '05. In his past six seasons at those schools, his passing offenses were No. 1 in '05, No. 3 in '06, No. 1 in '07, No. 2 in '08, No. 1 in '09 and No. 2 in '10.
"The Valero Alamo Bowl has a well-deserved reputation for high scoring, competitive games that go down to the wire and deliver top ESPN ratings," said Bill McCandless, Valero Alamo Bowl Chairman. "This year’s game should be no different as Oklahoma State and Arizona have combined to average over 70 points and put up over 980 yards of total offense per game."
Oklahoma State (10-2, 6-2 Big 12 and #14 in the BCS) finished tied for the Big 12 Conference South Division title, but lost in a tie-breaker to Oklahoma for a spot in the Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship. This is Oklahoma State’s third appearance in the Alamo Bowl, holding a 0-2 record.
The Cowboys are led by Big 12 Coach of the Year Mike Gundy and their #2 ranked passing offense is paced by junior quarterback Brandon Weeden and sophomore wide receiver Justin Blackmon, the winner of the Fred Biletnikoff award as the nation’s top receiver and 5th-place finisher in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
Oklahoma State's Dan Bailey won the Lou Groza Award as top placekicker while punter Owen Sharp joined Blackmon on the FWAA All-America team. Meanwhile, CollegeFootballPoll.com's All-America team selections included Blackmon and RB Kendall Hunter.
Arizona (7-5, 4-5 Pac-10) Wildcat Head Coach Mike Stoops is in his seventh year at the helm and led his squad to three straight bowl appearances including last year’s Holiday Bowl. Junior quarterback Nick Foles directs the Arizona offense which is #1 in the Pac-10 and #9 in the nation in total passing yards.
This will be the first meeting between Oklahoma State and Arizona on the football field since 1942. The all-time series is tied 3-3 and this bowl match-up will preview a home-and-home series between the two universities starting in Stillwater on September 10, 2011.
In its first two years (1993 and 1994), the Valero Alamo Bowl matched the Pac-10 against the Southwest Conference and then the game featured Big 12 vs. Big Ten match-ups for the next 15 years. This is the first year the Valero Alamo Bowl has matched the Pac-10 and Big 12 Conferences.