College Football

NCAA Football: PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl to Feature No. 5 Notre Dame And No. 9 Oklahoma State in First-Ever Meeting

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The 2021-22 PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl will pit some familiar faces when No. 5 Notre Dame takes on No. 9 Oklahoma State on Saturday, January 1, 2022. Kickoff is set for 11 am MST at State Farm Stadium and will be telecast live on ESPN.

The two storied programs have never met. This is the Fighting Irish’s 11th consecutive Bowl Season appearance and 16 in a row for the Cowboys. Oklahoma State boasts the sixth-best Bowl Season record at 20-11. Notre Dame claimed 11 National Championships, second-most in FBS, and an 18-19 overall Bowl Season record.

Limited tickets are still available by visiting fiestabowl.org/tickets or calling 480.350.0911.

Notre Dame returns to the Fiesta Bowl for the first time since 2015-16, when it fell to Ohio State, 44-28. Oklahoma State most recently defeated Stanford, 41-38, during an overtime thriller in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.

“The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl has built a reputation of producing great games. With the first ever meeting of these elite teams, I know this year will be another memorable Bowl Season moment,” said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy. “These two programs are at the elite level, with passionate fan bases and rich histories. Oklahoma State has enjoyed another excellent season and we can’t wait to welcome them back against one of the hallmark programs in college football in Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame (11-1) makes its sixth trip to the Fiesta Bowl and carries a 1-4 record. The Irish’s first Fiesta Bowl appearance in 1989 was the school’s most recent National Championship title, defeating West Virginia in front of what was then a Fiesta Bowl record crowd of 74,911. The Irish also played in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl against Colorado, 2001 against Oregon State and faced Ohio State in 2006 and 2016.

Notre Dame is led by graduate transfer quarterback Jack Coan, who threw for 2,641 yards, 20 touchdowns against only six interceptions this season. His favorite target, sophomore tight end Michael Mayer, hauled in 64 receptions – a program record –for 768 yards and five touchdowns. Junior running back Kyren Williams finished the season with 14 touchdowns and 1,002 yards, making him the first Irish running back to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons since Fiesta Bowl alumni Darius Walker in 2005 and 2006.

The Irish have shined on the defensive side of the ball. Notre Dame is ranked in the Top-10 in the NCAA in defensive touchdowns (4), sacks (40) and interceptions (15) and is the only team in the nation to have two games this season with multiple defensive touchdowns against Power Five opponents. Junior defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey led the way with 10 sacks and five forced fumbles, tied for third in NCAA. Junior linebacker JD Bertrand leads the team with 92 tackles.

Newly-announced Head Coach Marcus Freeman will preside over his first-ever game guiding the Irish after being elevated to head coach on Friday. The former defensive coordinator played in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl while an undergraduate at Ohio State, recording eight tackles against Texas. He was injured and unable to take the field when the Buckeyes faced Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl.

Oklahoma State makes its third trip to the Fiesta Bowl and carries a 2-0 record. The Cowboys first appeared in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl, defeating BYU, 16-6, after scoring 16 unanswered points.

At the helm of the Cowboys’ offense is junior quarterback Spencer Sanders, who is 209-of-340 with 16 passing touchdowns and 2,468 passing yards. Sanders has also recorded six rushing touchdowns and 543 rushing yards, the most of any Big 12 quarterback. The team’s leading rusher, and fifth in the Big 12, is Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year Jaylen Warren. The senior transfer recorded 1,134 yards, 94.5 yards per game, and 11 touchdowns.

The Cowboys (11-2) are a defensive force as well, leading the Big 12 and ranking eight in the NCAA in total defense. Oklahoma State has only allowed 16.8 points per game and has limited its opponents to 273.6 yards per game, good for third in the NCAA. A big part of the Cowboys defensive effort is Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the year Collin Oliver, who recorded 15 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, which leads all Power Five freshmen.

Oklahoma State is led by Big 12 Coach of the Year Mike Gundy, who has been quarterback or coach at Oklahoma State for more than half his life. Gundy coached the Cowboys to their best record this season, 11-2 (8-1 Big 12), since their last Fiesta Bowl appearance.

“Notre Dame and Oklahoma State was a matchup we hoped would become reality. We’re excited to host the first-ever meeting between the schools, perhaps sparking a new rivalry,” said Patrick Barkley, Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. “The Fiesta Bowl is again hosting two of the best teams in the nation on New Year’s Day and a game that the nation will be tuned into. We’re known for our world-class hospitality, and we’ll deliver that to these fans we know well.”

Coming off its 50th Anniversary Game, the Fiesta Bowl has provided some of the most memorable moments in college football, hosted 12 Heisman Trophy winners, a trio of College Football Playoff Semifinals and millions of fans.

During game day fans are encouraged to attend the two pregame parties at State Farm Stadium. The Caesars Sportsbook Fan Fest Pregame Party is free with a PlayStation Fiesta Bowl game ticket while the Caesars Sportsbook Stadium Club Pregame Party will elevate the tailgating experience with tickets starting at $125.

For those who are in Arizona prior to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl be sure to experience the beauty and pageantry of the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner and Rowe that will march down Central Phoenix on December 18. The Guaranteed Rate Bowl will be played on Tuesday, December 28, in downtown Phoenix between members of the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences.

All tickets purchased for the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl support Fiesta Bowl Charities and its mission to enhance the cause of Arizona nonprofits through its three pillars of youth, sports and education.

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