Here is everything you need to know about the 2022 Guaranteed Rate Bowl between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Tuesday, December 27, 2022; 9:15 p.m. CT; Chase Field; Phoenix, Arizona
TV: ESPN (Beth Mowins, Kirk Morrison, Stormy Buonantony)
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network (Dave Hunziker, John Holcomb, Robert Allen)
Records: Oklahoma State (7-5, 4-5 Big 12); Wisconsin (6-6, 4-5 Big Ten)
Rankings: Both Teams Unranked
Last Week: Oklahoma State 19, West Virginia 24; Wisconsin 16, Minnesota 23
Series History: No Previous Matchups
Last Meeting: N/A
Favorite: Wisconsin (-3)
Fun Fact: Despite both programs being established over 120 years ago, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin have never met on the football field.
OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS
QB Garrett Rangel
With starting quarterback Spencer Sanders in the transfer portal, the Cowboys will likely have to turn to freshman Garret Rangel as its starting quarterback against Wisconsin. On the year, Rangel has completed 53.6% of his passes for 482 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions. Being thrust into action as a true freshman hasn’t been kind to Rangel, but the talent is there. Rangel was a part of the Cowboys’ 2022 class and was rated as a four-star and the No. 26 pro-style quarterback in the class.
S Jason Taylor II
One of the bright spots for Oklahoma State in 2022 has been the play of senior safety Jason Taylor II. Taylor leads the Big 12 in interceptions on the year with six, also ranking him second nationally. The Oklahoma City native was snubbed from being named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe award, which ironically is presented by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame annually. Taylor will be the Pokes’ leading tackler entering this game, with Mason Cobb in the transfer portal.
RB Braelon Allen
With both teams’ starting quarterbacks hitting the transfer portal, the points in this game might not be easy to come by. The one person that could change that narrative though, is Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen. The 6-2, 235 pound sophomore out of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, is the next great Badgers’ running back in a backfield that has had some legends over the years. In his two seasons at Wisconsin, Allen has already rushed for 2,394 yards and 22 touchdowns.
S John Torchio
Senior safety John Torchio is one of the leaders of the Wisconsin defense and will be a keyplayer for the Badgers if he is to return in 2023. Torchio ranks fifth on the team in tackles (50) but leads the Badgers, and is second the Big Ten, in interceptions with five on the year. The All-Big Ten first team selection will be someone that Garret Rangel will need to be aware of at all times, or he will become an issue for the Cowboys passing game in a hurry.
OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS
Can Oklahoma State find some production offensively? The Badgers rank sixth in the Big Ten (13th nationally) in total defense, allowing just 305.4 yards per game in 2022. That doesnt present much of a “get right” situation for Garret Rangel, but if Oklahoma State hopes to win this game, they will need to manufacture a passing game. OSU has won five of its last six bowl games and Gundy is among the best in the nation and getting his team ready for the post season, but this could be a tough spot for the 18th-year head coach.
Can Wisconsin win the game by running the football. At a place like Wisconsin, you would expect a team to rank near the top in rushing yards per game, right? Well, in 2022, the Badgers rank 53rd nationally in rushing offense, managing 173.2 yards on the ground per game. Unfortunately for Oklahoma State, the Pokes rank 93rd in the same category, and they no longer have Spencer Sanders to help add to that total. If Wisconsin can top 200 yards rushing in this game, it will likley be enough to win it.
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 17, Oklahoma State 13
I don’t think either of these teams will be lighting up the scoreboard in Phoenix, and at the end of the day, I think that the presence of Braelon Allen, combined with the bevy of Oklahoma State players in the transfer portal is just too much for Mike Gundy and company to overcome. This will be a tough spot for both offenses, but I will take the team with the better running game and the better defense to win in a low-scoring slugfest.