SEC-Big 12 Preview 2015 – Oklahoma State 2017-04-25T11:39:42+00:00
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Allstate Sugar Bowl Looks at Big 12-SEC 2015The Allstate Sugar Bowl secured its future through January 2026 with the announcement that it would host the champions of the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences in eight of the 12 years between 2014 and 2025. If the champion of either or both leagues is selected for the College Football Playoff, a replacement team from that conference will play in the Sugar Bowl. In the four seasons that the Sugar Bowl is not hosting the Big 12 and the SEC (2014, 2017, 2020, 2023), it will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal.

After last year’s Playoff Semifinal game, this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl will be the first as the official destination for the top available teams from the Big 12 and the SEC. To lead into the season, the Bowl is providing brief previews of each team in the leagues.

Oklahoma State2014 Record: 7-6 (4-5, seventh in Big 12)

Bowl Projections
Athlon: Texas Bowl vs. LSU
Sporting News: Liberty Bowl vs. South Carolina
Phil Steele: Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Clemson
ESPN (Schlabach): Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Georgia Tech
ESPN (McMurphy): Alamo Bowl vs. Arizona
AP: Cactus Bowl vs. UCLA
CBS Sports: Texas Bowl vs. Texas A&M

Key Returnees
Ryan Simmons (Sr., LB): 96 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 PBUs
Jordan Sterns (Jr., S): 103 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 4 PBU
Seth Jacobs (Jr., LB): 92 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 5 PBU, 2 INT
Brandon Shepard (Sr., WR): 39 catches for 737 yards, 5 TDs
James Washington (So., WR): 28 catches for 456 yards, 6 TDs
Mason Rudolph (So., QB): 49-of-86 for 853 yards, 6 TDs

Key Stat
Over the last three years, Oklahoma State has not had a quarterback start more than eight games in a season. The Cowboys had three different starting QBs in 2012 and 2014. Mason Rudolph, who led the Cowboys to upset wins over Oklahoma and Washington, is expected to have a lock on the starting job this year – it is the first time since Brandon Weeden that the Cowboys have a definitive starter going into the season.

Key Early Games
Sept. 26 at Texas: After an inconsistent and injury-plagued 2014 season, the Cowboys open Big 12 play with a key road game against the Longhorns – another team which is looking to recover from inconsistency and climb back into the national picture. This game should be a good measuring stick for both programs to see where they stand.

Oct. 3 vs. Kansas State: The Wildcats are hoping to remain among the elite of the Big 12, but they have struggled when playing in Stillwater. Since 2008, the Cowboys are 39-9 (.812) at home.

Senior Spotlight
Ryan Simmons is a 6-0, 240-pound linebacker from Cibolo, Texas, who is recognized as the heart and soul of the Cowboy defense. Over the last two years, he has tallied 163 tackles, including 21 tackles for loss. However, despite his success on the football field, he may be challenged for “best athlete in the family honors.” His sister Meighan was a standout women’s basketball player at Tennessee; an uncle, Reggie Pinkney, played five years in the NFL; two cousins (Eric Barton and Aaron Curry) are currently playing the NFL; and two other cousins (Patrick Pinkney and Chris Curry) are playing Division I football at East Carolina and North Carolina, respectively.

YouTube Cowboys
Forty-four touchdowns in one season. By one player. The numbers are still mind-boggling and we couldn’t resist linking to highlights from Barry Sanders’ collegiate career with the Cowboys. In 1988, the superstar ran for 2,850 yards, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and over 200 yards per game. He rushed for over 300 yards four times and had a five-game streak of 200-yard games while also scoring at least two touchdowns in 11 straight games.