Heart of Dallas Bowl Preview: Purdue vs. Oklahoma St.

Greg JudyContributor IIIDecember 18, 2012

Nov 17, 2012; Champaign, IL, USA; A Purdue Boilermakers cheerleader waves a flag during the third quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illin at Memorial Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Heart of Dallas Bowl

January 1, 2013

Oklahoma State (7-5) vs Purdue (6-6)

It has been a roller coaster season for the Purdue Boilermakers. They started the season as dark-horse candidates to win the Big Ten. They began the season 3-1, losing only to Notre Dame in the final two minutes. However, the team had a horrible month of October, losing five straight games, including blowouts by Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

But then the team, realizing that their season was quickly slipping away, won three straight games to qualify for a bowl berth. Unfortunately, that was not enough to save head coach Danny Hope's job. He was fired one day after defeating rival Indiana and qualifying for a bowl. Although the Boilers have recently hired former Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell, the team will be coached by receivers coach Patrick Higgins in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Like the Boilers, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are also a streaky team. Having lost quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon to the NFL draft, the Cowboys started the 2012 season in a rebuilding process. But after defeating Savannah State 84-0, it looked like the Cowboys would have a much better season than expected. But after that blowout win, they lost two out of their next three games, including a 59-38 blowout at Arizona.

They followed that slump by winning their following three games in a row.

The Cowboys have had some excellent wins this year, having defeated No. 24 Iowa St, Texas Christian, West Virginia and No. 23 Texas Tech. However, Oklahoma State has only one road win all season, and that was a close game against a horrid Kansas team. The going has proved difficult for the Cowboys away from home, but Dallas is closer to Stillwater than West Lafayette.

Purdue will start off flat, and Oklahoma State will take a two-score lead into the half, but the Boilers, led offensively by senior quarterback Robert Marve and defensively by senior All-American Kawann Short, will roar back in the second half, keeping the score close.

Still, it will be too little too late. The Cowboys will score late, thwarting a comeback by Purdue.

Prediction: Purdue 29  Oklahoma St. 37