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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Heart of Dallas Bowl keys

By David Ubben

Let's take a look at three keys for an Oklahoma State victory in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

1. Don't let Purdue in the game. Don't mess around here. Oklahoma State is a demonstrably better team with a better résumé than the Boilermakers. There are two ways to lose games as a heavy favorite, like Oklahoma State will be in Dallas: Turning the ball over and giving up big plays. Purdue doesn't have a very explosive offense, so the latter will take defensive busts. OSU has been susceptible to turnovers at times this year, too. Prevent both of those things, and Purdue's going to need something miraculous to win this game.

2. No shame in chucking it. Joseph Randle is the Big 12's leading rusher, but his success hasn't exactly correlated to wins this season. Excluding the Savannah State blowout, OSU is just 3-4 when he goes for 100 yards rushing and 3-1 when he's held to below 100 yards, including blowout wins over Texas Tech and TCU. Both of those teams are better than Purdue, but if OSU gets a little locked in on the passing game and Clint Chelf throws the ball 50-plus times, that's no big problem.

3. Don't overthink it on the headset. Todd Monken is gone, and things might get a little awkward. Exactly how Oklahoma State will handle playcalling duties sounds a little cloudy. Either way, it's not going to be Monken, but these coaches have seen this team plenty. They know what works and what doesn't. Overthinking it and doing more than a few uncharacteristic things is a good way to make mistakes and lose this game. You can't emphasize it enough: OSU is the much, much better team in this game. Do what it does, and it wins easily. Make mistakes, and it gets interesting.