Washington vs. Oklahoma State: 5 Things You Need To Know For Cactus Bowl

By Alex Drude

Washington vs. Oklahoma State: 5 Things You Need To Know For Cactus Bowl

The Washington Huskies cheerleaders perform during the second quarter of the game against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. The Washington Huskies defeated the California Golden Bears 31-7
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The two teams have not met in almost 30 years, and this is just the third meeting all-time. There's not a lot of history between the two, but there are several things to remember. The Cactus Bowl, by the way, was formerly the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl/Insight Bowl/Copper Bowl and will be played Jan. 2 at Sun Devil Stadium. The Huskies finished the season 8-5, 4-5 in the Pac-12, while the Cowboys finished 6-6, 4-5 in the Big 12.

5. No Common Opponents, But Several “Played This Team That Played This Team” Combos

Texas Longhorns wide receiver John Harris (9) makes a catch against UCLA Bruins defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

5. No Common Opponents, But Several “Played This Team That Played This Team” Combos

Texas Longhorns wide receiver John Harris (9) makes a catch against UCLA Bruins defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State lost to Texas 28-7, who lost to UCLA 20-17, who beat UW 44-30. The Longhorns finished 6-6 and are in the Texas Bowl. The Huskies lost to Arizona 27-26 who beat UT-San Antonio 26-23 who lost to OSU 43-13. UTSA finished 4-8 in Conference USA. Oklahoma State lost to Florida State in the season opener, 37-31. FSU and Oregon play in the Rose Bowl CFB Semifinal Jan. 1, and the Ducks beat the Huskies for the 11th straight time, 45-20.

4. Washington’s Shaq Is A Pretty Good Diesel Himself

Washington Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson (7) shakes hands with a member of the Illinois Fighting Illini following a 44-19 Washington victory at Husky Stadium
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

4. Washington’s Shaq Is A Pretty Good Diesel Himself

Washington Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson (7) shakes hands with a member of the Illinois Fighting Illini following a 44-19 Washington victory at Husky Stadium
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The best player on both sides, UW’s Shaq Thompson got some dark horse Heisman talk because he plays both sides. An all-league linebacker, the junior played three games as the Huskies primary running back and some think he may be a better pro prospect there than on defense. Though he didn’t play much baseball, the Boston Red Sox drafted him in 18th round in 2012. The Sox discovered about the only thing he can’t hit hard consistently is a baseball.

3. Until Beating No. 20 Oklahoma In Bedlam To End The Regular Season, OSU Hadn’t Won Since Mid-October

Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Tyreek Hill (24) carries the ball while being pursued by Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Jordan Thomas (7) during the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

3. Until Beating No. 20 Oklahoma In Bedlam To End The Regular Season, OSU Hadn’t Won Since Mid-October

Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Tyreek Hill (24) carries the ball while being pursued by Oklahoma Sooners cornerback Jordan Thomas (7) during the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After the season-opening loss to No. 1 Florida State, the Cowboys reeled off five straight wins, albeit not against the greatest competition. OSU then lost five straight with four to ranked teams -- Baylor, TCU, K-State and West Virginia as well as Texas. That the schedule was back-loaded makes the losing streak look worse than it actually was. It was more just going, uh, sideways. The win against the Sooners straightened things out just enough.

2. Chris Petersen Still Hasn’t Won Over All UW Fans

Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen yells to his team during the third quarter of the game against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. The Washington Huskies defeated the California Golden Bears 31-7.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

2. Chris Petersen Still Hasn’t Won Over All UW Fans

Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen yells to his team during the third quarter of the game against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. The Washington Huskies defeated the California Golden Bears 31-7.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Washington won the Chris Petersen coaching sweepstakes, but the former Boise State head man didn’t produce an instant CFB Playoff-caliber season by the lake. For this reason, some Husky fans are still skeptical he was the right choice! A bowl win would quiet those fans, but when you’re that unrealistic, almost nothing will help until an actual CFB Playoff season. Even then those fans will wonder why it took as long as it did.

1. Mike Gundy Is Still A Man, But He Might Be A Man Coaching For His Job

Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy argues with an official during the first half against the Missouri Tigers in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mike Gundy Is Still A Man, But He Might Be A Man Coaching For His Job

Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy argues with an official during the first half against the Missouri Tigers in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Most famous for his “I’m a man! I’m 40!” post-game tirade in 2007, the Cowboys head coach may be on very thin ice in Stillwater. A 6-6 regular season is a step backwards from where OSU has been recently, including the Cowboys’ first-ever 11- and 12-win seasons. A former Cowboy QB in his 10th year at his alma mater with nine straight bowl games, he’s already the winningest coach in school history. But his future is very much in doubt.

Alex Drude is a Pac-12 writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alex_Drude. “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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