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Oklahoma State football: What you need to know about the Stanford Cardinal

STANFORD PRIMER — Could Oklahoma State give Stanford the same kind of trouble Oregon did?
By GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: December 13, 2011

STILLWATER — Like Oklahoma State, Stanford was in the national title conversation for much of the 2011 season.

And, like OSU, one blemish on the record was what kept Stanford from getting a chance to play in New Orleans on Jan. 9.

Still, the No. 4 Cardinal (11-1) has many of the key ingredients that make up an elite squad. A superstar quarterback. A top-5 scoring offense. A physical defense.

Here's a closer look at the Cowboys' opponent in the Fiesta Bowl.

Best player: Andrew Luck

No contest here.

The Cardinal quarterback is a two-time Heisman runner-up and passed for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns in the regular season. His arm strength, accuracy, leadership and ability to call plays at the line of scrimmage in a pro-style have made him the projected No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Best win: Oct. 29 at USC

Stanford outlasted USC 56-48 in triple overtime in one of the most entertaining games of the season.

After tossing an interception returned for a touchdown late in the fourth to give USC a 34-27 lead, Luck led the Cardinal on a 10-play, 76-yard drive to tie the score with less than a minute remaining and send the contest to overtime.

The Cardinal and Trojans matched each other touchdown-for-touchdown on their first two overtime possessions before a Stepfan Taylor score from five yards and a successful two-point conversion put Stanford up 56-48. USC looked like it would answer again when it drove inside the five-yard line, but Curtis McNeal fumbled into the end zone and Stanford's A.J. Tarpley recovered to seal the Cardinal victory.

Worst loss: Nov. 12 vs. Oregon

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