Oklahoma State football: Getting to know Purdue, the Cowboys' Heart of Dallas Bowl opponent

OSU has no past with anyone on the Purdue coaching staff. The Cowboys face a 6-6 team with an interim coach.
By Gina Mizell Published: December 7, 2012

“It's been strange. He came here full of hype from Miami. Big things were expected from the beginning, but a knee injury sidelined him after four games in 2010 and he never fully recovered. He started this season as healthy as he's been, but injured his knee again at Notre Dame in the second game. He's playing on one good knee. Marve has really matured and stepped up his leadership role, pushing this team into a bowl game. He ran about 60 yards chasing down an Indiana defender following an interception to make tackle, again on one good knee. I think the players have always responded better to him and this last month has really showed.”  

Who's the anchor of this Boilermaker defense? Is it lineman Kawann Short, a first-team All-Big Ten selection? What makes him such a force?

“Short is the anchor. He worked hard the last two offseasons to get himself in the best shape possible. He usually takes on double teams, but has quick feet and is able to move past offensive lineman. That comes from playing basketball, where he was standout in high school. Keep an eye on Josh Johnson, who is a physical cornerback.” 

Purdue has opened as a significant underdog against the Cowboys. At first glance, where could the Boilermakers potentially exploit OSU? Is there an X Factor player to watch?

“Based on the numbers, Purdue should have success through the air. The Boilermakers use a lot of screens and short passes to utilize their speed. Purdue doesn't feature a big downfield passing attack. A strong running game would help its chances. One player to watch is Akeem Hunt. He has five touchdowns of 50 yards or more, including 100-yard kickoff return.”