Fiesta Bowl Today at 1 PM: Oklahoma State takes on Notre Dame Fighting Irish

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State makes its third appearance in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl when it takes on Notre Dame at noon CT on New Year’s Day at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, it was announced today.
 
The Cowboys, who finished first in the regular season Big 12 standings and No. 9 in the final College Football Playoff rankings, take on a Fighting Irish squad that was 11-1 and finished fifth in the final CFP rankings. It is the first meeting between the two teams.
 
Fans can purchase tickets by visiting okstate.com/tickets, calling 877-ALL-4-OSU or emailing tickets@okstate.edu. Tickets go on sale to the general public starting at 1 p.m. CT on Monday, December 6. A limited quantity of specially-priced tickets for students go on sale to All-Sports Pass holders at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 8. Fans can visit okstatefantravel.com for official bowl travel information from the OSU Alumni Association.
 
This marks OSU’s fifth trip to a New Year’s Six bowl game since 2010, as the Cowboys played in the Cotton Bowl in 2010, the Fiesta Bowl in 2012, the Cotton Bowl in 2014, the Sugar Bowl in 2016 and now the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in 2022.
 
OSU is making its 16th consecutive appearance in a bowl game, which is the sixth-longest active streak in the nation. Among teams with a minimum of 20 bowl appearances, Oklahoma State ranks third nationally with a 64.5 winning percentage. The Cowboys have won four of their last five bowl games, most recently handing Miami (Fla.) a 37-34 defeat in the Cheez-It Bowl last season.
 
OSU’s history at the Fiesta Bowl includes a 16-6 win over BYU in 1974 and a 41-38 overtime win over Stanford in 2012. It’s Notre Dame’s sixth trip to the Fiesta Bowl. The first five yielded a 1-4 record, with the most recent visit in 2016.
 
Longest Active Bowl Streaks
25        Georgia
23        Oklahoma
20        Wisconsin
18         Alabama
17         Clemson
16        Oklahoma State
14        Miami (Fla.)
13         Texas A&M
 

The Basics
Playing in its 16th consecutive bowl game and its fifth New Year’s Six game since 2010, the No. 9 Oklahoma State football team (11-2 overall; 8-1 Big 12) faces No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1 overall) in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at 11 a.m. MT/12 p.m. CT on Saturday, January 1, in State Farm Stadium.

On the Air
The game will be televised by ESPN with Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky and Kris Budden on the call. It will also be carried live on the Cowboy Radio Network, with Dave Hunziker handling play-by-play, John Holcomb, Clint Chelf and Deion Imade providing analysis and Robert Allen reporting from the sideline. Fans outside of the Cowboy Radio Network can listen to the OSU broadcast for free through The Varsity Network app.

In the Rankings
Oklahoma State is No. 9 in the College Football Playoff rankings, marking its fifth consecutive week in the top 10. OSU has been included in 17 consecutive CFP polls dating to November 5, 2019, and the Cowboys have been in the CFP rankings in six of the past seven seasons. OSU is No. 9 in this week’s AP Top 25 and has been ranked at least once for 14 consecutive seasons in the poll. The streak, which began in 2008, is the 10th-longest active streak in the nation. Including this season, OSU has appeared in the top 15 of the AP poll in 12 of the past 14 seasons. It has had a top 10 ranking in the AP poll at some point in 10 of those 14 years. The Cowboys are also No. 9 in this week’s USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. Notre Dame is No. 5 in the CFP rankings and is also No. 5 in the AP Top 25 and the coaches poll.

The Cowboys Return to the Fiesta Bowl
This season’s appearance in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl marks the third time that Oklahoma State has played in the game. The first was December 28, 1974, with the Cowboys scoring 16 unanswered points in the final three quarters to defeat No. 17 BYU, 16-6. The game was played in front of 50,878 fans at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. OSU’s second appearance came January 2, 2012, as the No. 3 Cowboys won a thriller over No. 4 Stanford. OSU kicked a walk-off field goal in overtime to win 41-38 in front of 69,927 fans at then-named University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Another Top-10 Matchup
When No. 9 Oklahoma State faces No. 5 Notre Dame in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, it will mark the third consecutive game where OSU’s opponent is ranked in the AP top 10. The only other time in school history that OSU has had to face three straight AP top-10 teams in one season was from Oct. 23 – Nov. 6 of 1976, when the Cowboy beat No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 10 Missouri before falling at No. 9 Nebraska. OSU also faced three straight top 10 teams in the final game of 1962 and the first two games of 1963. The game also marks the first time in school history that the Cowboys have played in three straight matchups between AP-top 10 teams. The matchup against Notre Dame will mark the 14th overall time in OSU history that the Cowboys have played a game with both teams ranked in the AP top 10. OSU’s wins in those games.

Happy New Year!
The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl will mark the sixth time that Oklahoma State has played a game on New Year’s Day. The previous matchups.

The Series
Saturday’s game marks the first ever meeting between Oklahoma State and Notre Dame, and the first time the Cowboys have faced one of the current FBS independent schools since the Cowboys defeated BYU in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl. OSU’s other previous matchups with current FBS independents are a 1974 win over BYU in the Fiesta Bowl, a 1962 win at Army and a 1939 win over New Mexico State. Coach Mike Gundy has never faced Notre Dame or an FBS independent, and Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman is making his head coaching debut against Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma State from a Distance
Oklahoma State heads into the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl with an 11-2 overall record and as the No. 9 team in the FBS. The Cowboys finished the regular season alone on top of the Big 12 standings but fell inches short of a win in the conference championship game and potential spot in the College Football Playoff. To put what OSU has accomplished this year into perspective, it is joined by Georgia, Alabama and Baylor as the only teams with four wins over teams in the AP top 25 at the time of the game. The Oklahoma State defense has performed at a historic level this year. Entering Bowl Season, OSU leads the nation in sacks and tackles for loss and is also among the FBS leaders in third down defense (No. 2), total defense (No. 3), rushing defense (No. 5), fourth down defense (No. 6), scoring defense (No. 8), first downs defense (No. 8), passing yards allowed (No. 12) and more. The Cowboy offense has also made consistent improvement and has taken its game to another level in the second half of the season. Over the past six games, the Cowboys have averaged more than 36 points and more than 435 yards per game. On the season, the Cowboys now rank No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 18 in the FBS in first downs offense. When it came to play in conference games only, Oklahoma State ranked No. 1 in the Big 12 in rushing offense, No. 2 in total offense and No. 3 in scoring offense.

Continued Success
The 2021 season is just the latest chapter in a long story of success for the Oklahoma State program. Consider the following:

• Oklahoma State is making its 16th consecutive bowl appearance and has secured its 16th consecutive winning season, both of which are school-record streaks. OSU’s bowl streak is the seventh-longest active streak in the FBS, and the is longest active streak for any school with the same head coach.
• Mike Gundy has coached the Cowboys to five New Year’s Six bowl games since 2010. The Pokes appeared in the 2010 Cotton Bowl, the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, the 2014 Cotton Bowl, the 2016 Sugar Bowl and now the 2022 Fiesta Bowl.
• Since 2010, Oklahoma State has six seasons with at least 10 wins, an outright Big 12 title (2011) and a share of the Big 12 South title (2010). OSU reached the top 10 of the Associated Press poll in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021.
• Oklahoma State is one of only six teams to post a winning season every year from 2010-21, joining Alabama, Boise State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. It is one of only three Power Five teams with winning seasons each of the past 16 years, joined by Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
• Including the 2021 season, Oklahoma State has been ranked in the top 15 of the Associated Press poll in 12 of the past 14 seasons and reached the top 10 in 10 of those 14 years.
• OSU has finished in the top three of the Big 12 in three straight seasons and has finished in the top three nine times in the 11 seasons since the conference moved to a full round robin schedule in 2011.

Oklahoma State Among the Best In Bowl Games
Oklahoma State is 20-11 in its 31 all-time bowl appearances. Its 64.5% winning percentage ranks third among all schools with a minimum of 20 bowl appearances.

An Oklahoma State Win Would …
• Give OSU a 21-11 all-time record in bowl games, ranking among the top three in bowl winning percentages among teams with at least 20 appearances.
• Mark its fifth bowl win in the past six seasons, its sixth bowl win in the past eight seasons and its ninth bowl win in the past 12 seasons.
• Give the Cowboys five wins this season over teams ranked in the AP top 25 at game time, matching the school record of five set in 2011. Only Oklahoma State, Georgia, Alabama and Baylor have four AP top 25 wins heading into Bowl Season.
• Mark the Cowboys’ sixth win over an opponent with a winning record this season.
• Mark the Cowboys’ eighth win over an opponent who reached a bowl game this season.
• Tie the school record for most wins in a season. OSU also won 12 games in 2011.
• Make it 1-0 all-time vs. Notre Dame.
• Mark Mike Gundy‘s first win over an FBS independent.
• Make it 4-2 all-time in New Year’s Day games.
• Improve OSU to 5-0 all-time against current FBS independents.
• Make it 19-2 in its past 21 non-conference games and 41-7 in its past 48 non-conference games.
• Improve Mike Gundy‘s record in non-conference games to 58-13.
• Make it 15-6 in its past 21 games vs. AP Top 25 teams.
• Mark the Cowboys’ 10th win over an AP Top 10 team since 2008.
• Make it 14-2 in its past 16 games overall, dating back to the 2020 season.
• Mark Mike Gundy‘s 36th career win vs. AP Top 25 opponents. Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are the only other active coaches with more wins over AP Top 25 teams at their current schools.
• Mark the fifth win in school history in a game between two teams ranked in the AP Top 10.
• Make it 148-68 in its history when playing as an AP-ranked team.
• Make it 8-3 in its past 11 games when both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25.
• Improve it to 30-23 vs. AP ranked teams since the beginning of the 2011 season.

Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game
• OSU is averaging more than 36 points and 435 yards of offense in its past six games.
• OSU has outscored its past six opponents by a combined margin of 218-77, which amounts to an average score of 36-13.
• OSU has given up just seven offensive touchdowns in its past 24 quarters of play.
• OSU has held its last six opponents to 18-for-85 on third down (17.5 percent).
• OSU has held three of its past six opponents under 2.9 yards per play.
• OSU has held three of its past six opponents under 150 yards of total offense. No other FBS teams has held three opponents under 150 yards this season.
• OSU has held seven of its past 11 opponents under 100 yards rushing.
• OSU has held eight of its past 10 opponents under 200 yards passing.
• OSU has held 22 of its past 24 Big 12 opponents under their season scoring average.
• OSU has won 79 consecutive games when holding its opponent to fewer than 20 points, dating back to Sept. 13, 2003  – the longest active stretch of time in the FBS and longest since at least 1980.
• OSU has held its opponent scoreless on its game-opening drive in 24 of its past 30 games.
• OSU has held its opponent to less than a 50 percent third down conversion rate in 24 straight games.
• OSU has held its opponent to fewer than 20 first downs in 11 games this season.
• Malcolm Rodriguez has recorded at least five tackles in 20 of his past 21 games.
• OSU is 31-12 in its past 43 games decided by fewer than 10 points.
• OSU is 39-6 in its past 45 games when leading at halftime, dating back to Sept. 17, 2016.
• Dating back to 2005, OSU is 43-4 when not committing a turnover.
• Dating back to 2008, OSU is 69-8 when winning the turnover battle.
• OSU has won three of its past four overtime games.
• OSU has forced 27 turnovers in its past 17 games.

State Farm Stadium 2006 photo. By Taken by en Flickr user MCSixth, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

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