Oklahoma State Notes
Dan Bailey, Kicker
The Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year and a Lou Groza finalist … Putting the wraps on a standout career that saw him enter the program as a walkon and leave OSU as the school’s all-time leading scorer … The previous all-time leading scorer was Barry Sanders … Also set a school record with 24 field goals this season … Has handled placekicking duties since midway through the 2007 season and was also responsible for kickoff duties prior to 2009 … Has three of the top 16 scoring seasons in OSU history, including 137 points this season to rank second, 110 points in 2008 to rank fifth and 85 points in 2009 to rank No. 16 … Is No. 2 in America this season in scoring, entering the bowl season with 11.4 points per game … Set a school record by hitting his first 182 extra-point attempts before having a kick blocked at Texas.
Justin Blackmon, Receiver
NCAA leader with 1,665 receiving yards
NCAA leader with 151.2 receiving yards per game
NCAA leader with 18 touchdown receptions
Fourth in NCAA in scoring (10.9 points per game)
Ninth in NCAA in all-purpose yards (159 per game)
The Big 12 Conference’s offensive player of the year by both the Associated Press and the league coaches … Becomes the first Cowboy named offensive player of the year since Barry Sanders and is the first receiver in the history of the Big 12 to win the award … The NCAA’s most dominant receiver in 2010 … Consensus All-America selection … Biletnikoff Award finalist (OSU’s second in three years) … Just eight yards shy of the best sophomore season in NCAA history, trailing only the 2003 campaign of Pittsburgh’s Larry Fitzgerald … Has already set an NCAA record with at least 100 yards and at least one touchdown catch in 11 straight games … Needs 30 yards for the best single-season receiving total in OSU history, trailing only Rashaun Woods’ 1,695 yards in 2002 … Just six more catches and he will set an OSU record for single-season receptions … His 2010 yardage total entering the bowl game is already the 15th best in NCAA history … Named All-America by American Football Coaches Association and Walter Camp … Is already seventh all-time at OSU with 1,925 career receiving yards … Blackmon is OSU’s third first-team all-Big 12 receiver in the last five years.
Kendall Hunter, Running Back
A two-time All-American and two-time Big 12 rushing champion … A first-team All-American in 2010 by the American Football Coaches Association and Walter Camp … Runner-up to teammate Justin Blackmon in the Associated Press Big 12 player of the year balloting … A 2008 FWAA All-American … Two-time All-Big 12 … The fourth leading rusher in Oklahoma State history with 4,149 yards and fourth in school history with 37 rushing touchdowns … Averages 5.94 yards per rush for his career … Is third all-time at OSU with 20 games of more than 100 rushing yards … Is fifth at OSU with three 200-yard games … In 2008, he became Oklahoma State’s first All-America running back since Gerald Hudson in 1990 and joined teammate Dez Bryant as the first Cowboy sophomore position players to be named All-America since Thurman Thomas in 1985 …Was expected to redshirt in 2007 but played his way into an important role on the squad and ended the season as OSU’s third leading rusher … Named to The Sporting News’ all-Big 12 freshman team … Good student … Two-time OSU academic achievement award winner … Academic all-Big 12 selection … Has been clocked at 4.38 in the 40 … Is 24thnationally in all-purpose yards with 142 per game.
Orie Lemon, Linebacker
Completes his career in the bowl game and will wrap up an outstanding senior season … All-Big 12 first-teamer by media and coaches … Is third nationally in solo tackles with 7.75 per game …His 119 tackles are the most by a Cowboy since 1996 (Raymond Cato had 119 that year) and is the second best total by an OSU player since 1986 … OSU’s first all-conference linebacker since 2003 …A converted high school quarterback … Suffered a season ending injury just days before the season opener and sat out 2009.
Andrew McGee, Cornerback
Overcame a severe injury that ended his junior season early to become a first-year starter at corner … Capped his career by being named first-team All-Big 12 … One of OSU’s most active players away from the field as a guest speaker at schools, churches and other stops throughout the community and region … OSU’s nominee for the Bobby Bowden Award.
Brandon Weeden, Quarterback
A former professional baseball player who joined the Cowboys in 2007 … Completing a record-breaking junior season … The All-Big 12 first-team quarterback as selected by the Big 12 coaches and Associated Press and finished third in AP’s player of the year balloting behind two teammates … Is OSU’s first all-league quarterback since the 1930s … A finalist for the Manning Award … Already owns a nice collection of school records, including single-season records for passing yards (4,037), total offense (3,969), touchdown passes (32), completed passes (317), pass attempts (470) and the completion percentage record of 64.9 percent set by Zac Robinson could fall as well … He holds the single-game records for completions (34 vs. Baylor) and passing yards (435 vs. Baylor) … He owns four of the top seven single-game passing totals in school history … Ended the regular season third nationally in passing yards (4,037), No. 14 in points responsible for at 16 per game, No. 15 nationally and tops in the Big 12 with an efficiency rating of 156.53 … Was third nationally after the regular season with 32 touchdown passes.
Nick Foles – junior QB (Austin, Texas)… Pac-10’s leading passer… 5,000-yard thrower in 20 starts in two years despite missing two games with injury this year and a pair before he took the job away last year… Thrown for 38 scores and career 655 completion rate with one of the highest efficiency ratings in the school’s history…
Ricky Elmore – senior DE..;. Pac-10’s leading sack man, with 11… has 21.5 sacks in last two years… 25.5 career sacks is No. 2 in UA history behind Tedy Bruschi… honorable mention all-Pac-10 last year and likely first-team pick this year
Juron Criner – junior WR … Pac-10’s leading receiver with 73 catches and 1,186 yards… 10 scoring catches is third-best in conference… 20 career scoring TDs, 19 of those in last two years… Played as true freshman in 2008, became go-to type last year and is THE guy this year…
Paul Vassallo – junior LB … Team-leader with 94 tackles on the season (7.5 for loss) after transferring in as a mid-year JUCO …. Quietly become the team’s defensive leader by example and has a steady vocal presence on the field communicating the defensive calls … Has chance to be first UA player with 100 tackles since current Denver Bronco Spencer Larsen (2007).
David Douglas – junior WR (McKinney, Texas) … Unheralded “possession” receiver who compliments Criner on the outside … Second on squad with 46 catches for 424 yards and five scores … Nine-game starter in mostly spread formations …9.2 yards per catch…
Justin Washington – RS freshman (Cypress, Texas) … Emerged as a key cog in the Wildcats’ interior D-Line … Missed two games with knee injury, but otherwise finished with 6.0 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, figures that rank third and second respectively on the defense … Also blocked a key extra point to maintain a tie ball game against Iowa in the fourth quarter, immediately prior to a UA game-winning drive in the closing moments.
*Arizona has 15 players from state of Texas*
*It will be Arizona’s fourth bowl appearance in Texas after 1969, 1985 and 1992 participation in the Sun Bowl.*
*Arizona’s three-game bowl streak matches the school’s best previous string from 1992-94 (Sun, Fiesta, Freedom). Arizona’s active streak is the second-longest in the Pac-10 Conference.
*Arizona is 3-3 against Oklahoma State, all from 1931 to 1942, during UA’s Border Conference days. UA beat the Cowboys, 22-13, in Phoenix in 1937 and 1940 (24-0), the only neutral site games in the series.