The 2014 bowl season continues with the day after New Year’s Day action featuring an evening match-up (10:15 pm ET) that features two traditional powers that have been relegated to second-tier bowl status this season. The Washington Huskies (8-5) of the PAC-12 Conference and the Oklahoma St. Cowboys (6-6) of the Big-12 Conference in the Ticketcity Cactus Bowl from the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ. The Huskies won their final two regular season games over Oregon St. ( 37-13) and Washington St. (31-13) to close out a campaign that saw them go through two losing streaks after beginning the season with so much promise at 4-0. The Cowboys salvaged a bowl berth and a .500 season with a season-ending 38-35 win over in-state rival Oklahoma to end a disastrous 5 game losing streak.
Washington is ranked 51st nationally in scoring offense with an average of 30.8 points per game and 73rd among FBS teams in total offense with 390.2 yards per contest. The Huskies rank 41st nationally in points allowed with 24.4 per game and 73rd in total defense 405.8 YPG allowed.
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Oklahoma St. is ranked 73rd nationally in scoring offense with an average of 27.4 PPG scored and 89th among FBS teams in total offense with 371 YPG. The Cowboys rank 98th nationally in points allowed with 32 per game and 95th in total defense 437.3 YPG allowed.
Washington vs. Oklahoma St. Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Washington Huskies -6
@ Oklahoma St. Cowboys +6
Over 56.5 (-110)
Under 56.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Washington vs Oklahoma St. Pick
The Huskies are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against Big 12 teams and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Cowboys are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games against a team with a winning record, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on grass and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Under is 4-1 in the Huskies’ last 5 non-conference games, 5-2 in their last 7 games following a ATS win and 11-4 in their last 15 games overall. The Over is 4-1 in the Cowboys’ last 5 neutral site games, 6-2-1 in their last 9 against a team with a winning record and 4-0 in their last 4 non-conference games.
The Cowboys are limited offensively with the loss of running back Tyreek Hill, who averaged 150.9 all-purpose yards and returned a punt 92 yards for a score against OU in the final game of the season. Hill, the Big-12 Newcomer of the Year, was kicked off the team for a domestic violence incident last month.
The Huskies are led by a strong defense that features three All-Americans in defensive end Danny Shelton, who had 9 sacks this season, linebacker Shaq Thompson who also sees action at running back, and linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha. Quarterback Cyler Miles protects the football and manages the game well, having thrown for 16 TDs against 3 INTs and threw for 4 touchdowns over his the final two games of the season.
The OSU offensive line has struggled this season, allowing a Big 12-high 37 sacks. They will be tested by a Huskie defense that ranked 2nd in the nation with 49 sacks. Washington’s linebacker Kikaha led the nation in sacks with 18 and tackles for loss with 24. OSU is starting Freshman Mason Rudolph at QB, and while he had an excellent game against Oklahoma throwing for 273 yards and 2 TDs, he is making only his 3rd career start and has not seen the type of pass rush that Washington will throw at him. The Huskies are a more complete team than OSU, and the combination of their pass rush and an inexperienced opposing QB tilts the scales in their favor in this game. Take Washington and give the points here.