PHOENIX (AP) — Wisconsin (6-6, Big Ten) vs Oklahoma State (7-5, Big 12), Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m. EST (ESPN)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Wisconsin by 3 1/2.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Both programs are looking to finish strong and build momentum for next season after an up-and-down 2022. The Badgers fired coach Paul Chryst after a 2-3 start, but beat Nebraska late in the season to become bowl eligible for the 21st straight season, the third-longest active streak in FBS. Former Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell is the new coach, but is planning to defer most decisions in the bowl game to interim coach Jim Leonhard and the rest of the coaches. The Cowboys reached No. 7 in the AP Top 25 after opening 5-0, but lost four of their final five games.
Wisconsin's QB vs. Oklahoma State's defense. The Badgers lost three-year starter Graham Mertz to the transfer portal — he ended up at Florida — so the offense will be in the hands of fifth-year senior Chase Wolf or freshman Myles Burkett. They had a combined six pass attempts this season and will be facing a Cowboys defense that was 13th nationally, allowing 305.4 total yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wisconsin: S John Torchio. The senior tied for eighth nationally with five interceptions and is the first Wisconsin player with two interception returns for touchdowns in a season since 2010.
Oklahoma State: QB Garret Rangel. The freshman will get the start in the desert after four-year starter Spencer Sanders entered the transfer portal. Rangel doesn't have Sanders' elusiveness, but is a solid passer who's still mobile. He started two games this season, throwing for a combined 482 yards and two touchdowns against West Virginia and Kansas.
FACTS & FIGURES
Wisconsin is playing a bowl game in Arizona for the first time since the 1996 Copper Bowl. ... Oklahoma State is playing in its 17th straight bowl game, the sixth-longest streak in FBS. ... Wisconsin RB Braelon Allen averages 5.4 yards per carry, which was second in the Big Ten among backs with at least 150 carries. ... The Cowboys and Badgers are among five teams with a winning record every year since 2010, with Alabama, Boise State and Oklahoma. ... The Badgers have scored at least 20 points in nine straight bowl games. ... Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has 11 bowl victories and can move into a tie with three others for sixth all-time with a win.
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