The 41st annual Fiesta Bowl will kick off on Monday, January 2, 2012 from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will pit the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal against the No. 3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys. The Cowboys are favored to win by four points, but it is expected to be a competitive game between two evenly-matched teams.
Jon Wilner of the Mercury News provided some key points to look for regarding the strategy of the game in an article on Sunday. Wilner notes that the Stanford offense will need to control the ball and the clock and attempt to keep the potent Cowboys offense off the field for as long as possible. Stanford is certainly more than capable of keeping a stranglehold on a game, as they demonstrated in last year's Orange Bowl, when they racked up over 500 yards and 40 points and only punted three times in the game.
Wilner also notes that the performance of the Stanford tight ends will be vital in the game. Quarterback Andrew Luck has shown a definite preference in the 2011 season for his talented TEs, including Coby Fleener and Zach Ertz. If the tight ends can stay ahead of the Cowboys coverage, it could very well be off to the races for Stanford.