|Oklahoma State's chain of bowl victories stretches another season. (US Presswire)|
OKLAHOMA STATE WON: The Vegas oddsmakers installed the Cowboys as the heaviest favorites of the bowl season. We'd say they were experts for a reason ... if that spread hadn't been "only" 17.5 points. Oklahoma State dominated the coachless Boilermakers from start to finish in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, leading 14-0 after 9 minutes, 28-0 after 25, 45-0 after 41 and, finally, 58-14. Clint Chelf enjoyed a hyper-efficient day at quarterback, hitting 15-of-20 for 197 yards with three touchdowns, while the ever-opportunistic Cowboys defense forced five turnovers and scored on Daytawion Lowe's 37-yard fumble return.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON: Is there any point in breaking down a rout like this further than "the Cowboys were simply the better team in every possible aspect of the game"? And we do mean every aspect -- in addition to offense and defense, Oklahoma State got an early boost from its special teams via Josh Stewart's 63-yard punt return. Purdue's special teams? A well-executed second-quarter drive that represented the Purdue offense's only positive of the first half ended in a 34-yard field-goal miss by Sam McCartney.
Even if the Cowboys weren't deeper, more talented, more confident in their schemes, etc., the Boilermakers could have made up for some of those deficiencies -- many bowl teams do -- by being more motivated and more focused. But Danny Hope's firing and a lifeless atmosphere in the Cotton Bowl appeared to have taken the wind out of Purdue's sails even before the crushing deficit. This was never a contest.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON: Jeremy Seaton's 16-yard touchdown catch with 14:22 to play in the second quarter proved to be the winning score. (The game was, of course, over as soon as 11 Cowboys players arrived at the stadium, eliminating the possibility of forfeit.)
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON: The golden opportunity to have its walk-ons say they took the field in a bowl game. It also was the Cowboys' third-consecutive bowl victory under Mike Gundy.
WHAT PURDUE LOST: The defeat means the Boilermakers finish with their fourth losing season in five years -- which helps explain why Hope was let go in the first place.
FINAL BOWL GRADE: This game was basically three hours of watching vultures and hyenas gnaw on the carcass of a fallen water buffalo. Maybe it's interesting in a grisly fashion for a brief period of time ... but that period of time is approximately 1/17 the ultimate length of the game. Grade: F.