Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State: PlayStation Fiesta Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch
Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State: PlayStation Fiesta Bowl How To Watch
Date: Saturday, January 1
Game Time: 1:00 ET
Venue: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Record: Notre Dame (11-1), Oklahoma State (11-2)
CFN Predictions | Bowl Schedule
Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Preview
– May your loved ones feel as excited about you as Notre Dame is about new head coach Marcus Freeman. It’s not like Brian Kelly was bad or a problem – quite the contrary with his success – but Freeman represents a new energy and shift in overall tone.
Again, Kelly did a fantastic job of making the program a perennial College Football Playoff contender. The thought is that Freeman – a younger fireball of motivation and recruiting skill – is about to take things to a whole new level.
No, whatever happens in this isn’t going to matter all that much, but it really is the first day of the rest of Notre Dame’s football life.
– Oklahoma State was about four inches away from probably being in the College Football Playoff. That’s how far RB Dezmon Jackson was from getting into the end zone to beat Baylor in the Big 12 Championship, and then it would’ve been a fun fight and debate between the Cowboys and Cincinnati for the fourth spot.
But Jackson came up short and Oklahoma State didn’t win the Big 12 Championship. Facing Notre Dame and going to Phoenix isn’t a bad consolation prize.
– The loss of Kelly to LSU is the big story for the Irish, but there’s continuity with the hiring of Freeman, helped by the rest of the coaching staff retuning enough parts to be okay.
Not having superstar S Kyle Hamilton hurts. He’s opting out along with dangerous RB Kyren Williams.
Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is off to Ohio State for the same position after the bowl game, and that’s about it. The Cowboys should be close to their regular season selves, but they’ll be without Jackson who entered the transfer portal.
NEXT: Why Notre Dame Will Win, Why Oklahoma State Will Win, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Prediction
Why Oklahoma State Will Win The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is still around.
All year long the Oklahoma State defense was right up there with Georgia and Wisconsin as the statistical best of the best in college football, and that includes the Big 12 Championship loss to Baylor.
The problems were on the other side of the ball in that. The defense allowed just 242 yards of total Baylor offense making Oklahoma the only team to come up with more than 375 yards on this group.
The Cowboys attack and then attack some more, leading the nation in in sacks and tackles for loss for a D that allowed just 278 yards per game.
Notre Dame’s offensive line got better and stronger as the year went on – the ground game hit its stride after a rocky first half of the season – but it’s now about to have a few issues. Oklahoma State’s defense comes in waves, it takes a whole slew of smart calculated chances, and it’s brilliant at getting off the field.
Only Houston was better at third down defense.
Why Notre Dame Will Win The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl
Notre Dame has a defense, too.
It’s certainly not as strong without S Kyle Hamilton around, but it should be able to bottle up a spotty Oklahoma State ground game.
Top RB Jaylen Warren back – the Cowboys are in the College Football Playoff if he was healthy enough to go in the Big 12 Championship – but the attack should have a hard time consistently moving the chains.
The Irish didn’t exactly face a who’s who of offenses over the final month – Virginia didn’t have QB Brennan Armstrong in the 28-3 Notre Dame win – but it was able to survive a big all-around day from the North Carolina attack and was almost as strong as Oklahoma State’s D on third downs and at generating pressure.
Cowboy QB Spencer Sanders might not have a case of the giveaways like he did against Baylor, but the Irish defense should be able to force its own breaks. It came up with multiple takeaways eight times on the year and should come up with at least one pick in this.
NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State Prediction, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl History
Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State: PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, What’s Going To Happen
Don’t get too caught up in the Marcus Freemania.
He’s going to need a little time to tweak up the program a little bit, and Mike Gundy and this Oklahoma State team is good enough to put a damper on the festivities.
However, the Irish lines will hold up just fine, there will be a few funky wrinkles thrown into the offensive equation around QB Jack Coan, and yeah, go ahead and assume the excitement factor will be a thing.
Normally, a team like Notre Dame would be down after just missing out on the College Football Playoff, but that’s not the case.
This is going to be a tough, sharp team that will be able to hang defensive punch for defensive punch. It’s also going to need takeaways to win this.
Oklahoma State turned it over seven times in the two games against Baylor, twice against Oklahoma, four times against everyone else.
Don’t expect a slew of giveaways, and don’t expect a letdown problem, either – to the opposite, the team seems ready to try making amends for the Baylor loss.
Getting RB Jaylen Warren back matters. He’ll be the steadying factor for the attack.
The Irish will come out strong – and not just for Freeman – but Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State are too good in bowl games. Gundy has won four of his last five and is 11-5 since 2005.
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State Prediction, Lines
Must See Rating: 5
5: New Year’s Eve in a bar
1: New Year’s Eve watching a ball drop
PlayStation Fiesta Bowl History
Jan. 2, 2021 Iowa State 34, Oregon 17
Dec. 28, 2019 CFP Clemson 29, Ohio State 23
Jan. 1, 2019 LSU 40, UCF 32
Dec. 30, 2017 Penn State 35, Washington 28
Dec. 31, 2016 CFP Clemson 31, Ohio State 0
Dec. 31, 2014 Boise State 38 Arizona 30
Jan. 3, 2013 Oregon 35 Kansas State 17
Jan. 2, 2012 Oklahoma State 41 Stanford 38 (OT)
Jan. 1, 2011 Oklahoma 48 Connecticut 20
Jan. 4, 2010 Boise State 17 TCU 10
Jan. 5, 2009 Texas 24 Ohio State 21
Jan. 2, 2008 West Virginia 48 Oklahoma 28
Jan. 1, 2007 Boise State 43 Oklahoma 42 (OT)
Jan. 2, 2006 Ohio State 34 Notre Dame 20
Jan. 1, 2005 Utah 35 Pittsburgh 7
Jan. 2, 2004 Ohio State 35 Kansas State 28
Jan. 3, 2003 Ohio State 31 Miami 24
Jan. 1, 2002 Oregon 38 Colorado 16
Jan. 1, 2001 Oregon State 41 Notre Dame 9
Jan. 2, 2000 Nebraska 31 Tennessee 21
Jan. 4, 1999 Tennessee 23 Florida State 16
Dec. 31, 1997 Kansas State 35 Syracuse 18
Jan. 1, 1997 Penn State 38 Texas 15
Jan. 2, 1996 Nebraska 62 Florida 24
Jan. 2, 1995 Colorado 41 Notre Dame 24
Jan. 1, 1994 Arizona 29 Miami 0
Jan. 1, 1993 Syracuse 26 Colorado 22
Jan. 1, 1992 Penn State 42 Tennessee 17
Jan. 1, 1991 Louisville 24 Alabama 7
Jan. 1, 1990 Florida State 41 Nebraska 17
Jan. 2, 1989 Notre Dame 34 West Virginia 21
Jan. 1, 1988 Florida State 31 Nebraska 28
Jan. 2, 1987 Penn State 14 Miami 10
Jan. 1, 1986 Michigan 27 Nebraska 23
Jan. 1, 1985 UCLA 39 Miami 37
Jan. 2, 1984 Ohio State 28 Pittsburgh 23
Jan. 1, 1983 Arizona State 32 Oklahoma 21
Jan. 1, 1982 Penn State 26 USC 10
Dec. 26, 1980 Penn State 31 Ohio State 19
Dec. 25, 1979 Pittsburgh 16 Arizona 10
Dec. 25, 1978 Arkansas 10 UCLA 10
Dec. 25, 1977 Penn State 42 Arizona State 30
Dec. 25, 1976 Oklahoma 41 Wyoming 7
Dec. 26, 1975 Arizona State 17 Nebraska 14
Dec. 28, 1974 Oklahoma State 16 BYU 6
Dec. 21, 1973 Arizona State 28 Pittsburgh 7
Dec. 23, 1972 Arizona State 49 Missouri 35
Dec. 27, 1971 Arizona State 45 Florida State 38