By Brandon Chatmon
STILLWATER â€” Orie Lemon, Kendall Hunter and the rest of the Oklahoma State senior class can leave a lasting legacy on the football program.
If OSU can defeat Arizona in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio, the 2010 Cowboys would become the first team in school history to win 11 games.
â€œThis group of seniors have a chance to separate themselves from every other team that has played at Oklahoma State,â€ coach Mike Gundy said.
The Pokes have already been a trailblazing group. They are the first team in school history to win 10 regular season games and first team to earn a share of the Big 12 South title while winning nine games for the third-straight season. OSU also broke long road losing streaks at Texas Tech and Texas.
â€œThey've accomplished some big feats this year,â€ Gundy said.
Standing between OSU and win No. 11 is Arizona.
The Wildcats finished with a 7-5 overall record but was 4-5 in Pac 10 play. Arizona will enter the Alamo Bowl having lost four straight games.
Yet, coach Mike Stoops' Arizona team should not be overlooked.
The Wildcats feature one of the nation's top quarterbacks in Nick Foles, who ranks No. 8 nationally in passing yards per game (291.10). The junior has the physical tools to test OSU's secondary, which finished the season No. 115 in pass defense (275.50 yards allowed per game).
â€œI know quite a bit about them,â€ Gundy said. â€œI've seen them play several times. I've watched them play enough to know they have guys who run around and make some plays.â€
With the Cowboys bringing in their offense, which ranks No. 1 nationally in total yards at 537.58 per game, Alamo Bowl ticket holders would be best served not to leave their seats at any point.
â€œIt should be a very fan-friendly game,â€ Gundy said. â€œI'm impressed with their quarterback play and their receivers, and we're going to throw it around, so it should be a lot of fun to watch.â€
The Cowboys should have the mental advantage.
At kickoff, it will have been two months since Arizona last won a game. The Wildcats defeated UCLA 29-21 on Oct. 30, then suffered consecutive losses to Stanford, USC, Oregon and Arizona State.
OSU lost its last game, against Oklahoma, but will bring a squad used to winning and exceeding expectations.
â€œOur message to them is there's no reason to not try to win the 11th and set another standard for this team and this group of seniors,â€ Gundy said. â€œThey have a chance to win 11 games, and nobody has ever won 11 games.â€