Posted by Chip Patterson
Thursday's primetime rematch of the 2010 Alamo Bowl will be missing one of the marquee attractions with Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner missing the game due to a medical condition.
Criner, arguably the most important target for quarterback Nick Foles, had hoped to play against the Cowboys but his undisclosed condition kept him from traveling with the team to Stillwater, according to The Arizona Republic.
Foles connected with Criner 6 times in the Wildcats' opener against Northern Arizona for 151 yards and a touchdown. There are plenty of talented receivers on the Arizona roster, but few provide the home-run threat that Criner does on the field.
"Our offense, as you can see from a week ago, is not just one player," head coach Mike Stoops said earlier this week. "Juron has a big play knack, but we have other players that can make plays."
Someone will need to step up and make plays if the Wildcats expect to hang with the high-powered Cowboys in Stillwater. Oklahoma State showed little has changed in their production since the departure of Dana Holgorsen, putting up 61 points and 666 yards of total offense against Louisiana-Lafayette in their season opener. Quarterback Brandon Weeden completed 24 of 29 passes for 388 yards for three touchdowns for the Pokes, but he also tossed three interceptions - two of which were returned for touchdowns.
Foles still has plenty of weapons to hang with Weeden if Thursday turns into a shootout, and the 6-foot-5 senior showcased them against Northern Arizona. Six different receivers had at least four receptions, and Foles' five touchdown passes were spread to five different teammates. He'll need every single one of those receivers to step up on Thursday if the Wildcats want to exact revenge on the Cowboys for the 36-10 loss suffered nearly nine months ago in the bowl game.