Our 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl free pick marks the first bowl in this series that features two nationally ranked teams. The Valero Bowl has the # 12 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. the # 10 Colorado Buffaloes. The Cowboys are looking to get 10 wins this year and feel vindicated after losing the Big 12 title to Oklahoma. The Buffaloes have not been in a bowl game since 2007 and have not won one since 2004. They want this one.
The #12 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3 Overall, 7-2 Big 12 Conference) had some big victories this season. The beat unranked Pittsburgh 45-38 early on. The Cowboys then took down #22 Texas 49-31 and #10 West Virginia 37-20. Two tough losses include to #16 Baylor 35-24 and to Oklahoma 38-20.
It was sweet for the #10 Colorado Buffaloes (10-3 Overall, 8-1 PAC-12 Conference) to win the PAC-12 North. But it was sour for them to lose the title game to Washington 41-10. The other tough loss was to #4 Michigan 45-28 early in the season. Before the title match, the Buffaloes won six straight, including beating #22 Washington State 38-24 and #22 Utah 27-22.
#12 Oklahoma State Cowboys
QB Mason Randolph (63 COMP%, 25 TDs, 4 INTs) leads what is a very productive Colorado State offense. The balanced attack of the Cowboys has resulted in 26 passing touchdowns and 30 rushing. They’re averaging 38.7 PPG. The Cowboys’ two top wideouts are James Washington (62 REC, 1,209 YDs, 19.5 AVG, 9 TDs) and Jalen McCleskey (69 REC, 762 YDs, 11.0 AVG, 7 TDS). RB Justice Hill (187 ATT, 1.042 YDs, 5.6 AVG, 5 TDs) anchors the ground attack, while Chris Carson, who has eight rushing TDs, and Rennie Childs, with seven, provide added yards and points.
Although the Cowboys’ defensive stats are fairly good, the number of points they’re allowing opponents, which is 28.1, is higher than they would like. Colorado State’s red zone D is a respectable 76.08% and they have 29 sacks, 81 TFL, and 13 interceptions. They’ve also broken up 41 passes, forced 11 fumbles, and carried out 17 QB hurries. The team’s turnover margin, which is plus 10, is very good.
#10 Colorado Buffaloes
As a dual threat, QB Sefo Liufau (62.8 COMP%, 11 TDs, 6 INTs) is a dangerous guy. Along with his passing stats, Liufau has rushed the ball 152 times for 496 yards and seven scores. Phillip Lindsay (230 ATT, 1,189 YDs, 5.2 AVG, 16 TDs) is the team’s primary running back. The top pass catchers are Shay Fields and Devin Ross with nine and five touchdown catches respectively. The Buffaloes are averaging 32.8 PPG.
On defense, Colorado is holding teams to 20.5 PPG. They have posted 19 FF, 15 INTs, and 13 sacks. In addition, they have 64 TFL, 70 PD, and 26 QB hurries. The team’s turnover margin is plus seven.
2016 Valero Alamo Bowl Free Pick
We think that Oklahoma State will be able to keep up with the Buffaloes when it comes to scoring. Our 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl free pick like the Cowboys at +3.0 and the over at 63.
The 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl will be played at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec 29 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. ESPN will air the game.