No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 9 Oklahoma State to square off in Fiesta Bowl

Dec 5, 2021, 1:06 PM
Fans arrives for the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game between Clemson and Ohio State, Saturda...

Fans arrives for the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game between Clemson and Ohio State, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin).

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The 2022 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium will feature two premier teams in No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1) vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State (11-2) playing in one of the New Years Six bowls on Jan. 1.

The bowl is considered as one of the highest honors for college teams, along with the Rose Bowl in California, Cotton Bowl in Texas, Orange Bowl in Florida, Sugar Bowl in Louisiana and Peach Bowl in Georgia. These locations all rotate as hosts of the College Football Playoff semifinals and final destinations.

Although many of the other bowls are often affiliated with conference winners (if that bowl is not selected as a CFP location), the Fiesta Bowl picks at-large teams. This is unique as the game has drawn many teams from many conferences and has seen Group of Six schools upset Power Five teams.

Last season, Big-12 runner-up No. 12 Iowa State handily defeated Pac-12 champion No. 25 Oregon 34-17. The game featured two local high school quarterbacks as Cyclones’ Brock Purdy and Ducks’ Tyler Shough battled it out.

This year’s matchup features two teams that finished just short of their College Football Playoff aspirations.

The game will mark the head-coaching debut for Marcus Freeman at Notre Dame, after he was named as Brian Kelly’s replacement this week after he took the LSU job. Freeman has been the Fighting Irish’s defensive coordinator this season, which is the No. 30 total defense in the country.

The other side of the ball features another stout defensive unit in the Cowboys from Oklahoma State. The No. 3 overall defense in 2021, the Cowboys lost to Baylor on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship, which all but sealed their fate on missing the playoff.

In its history, the Fiesta Bowl is not new to seeing fantastic football played.

Fiesta Bowl 36 Jan. 1, 2007
No. 9 Boise State 43, No. 8 Oklahoma 42

This game may be one of the most memorable college games ever. The first-ever college matchup played in at State Farm Stadium was between Big-12 champ Oklahoma vs. WAC champ Boise State.

The Broncos led by 18 points at one point, but after 22 combined points in the last 86 seconds of regulation, the game went to overtime after Boise State scored a 50-yard hook-and-ladder touchdown on 4th-and-18 with seven seconds remaining.

The excitement did not end there as future NFL Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson added a score for the Sooners, setting up a play that was etched in history. Boise State answered on 4th down again with a half-back pass for a touchdown, setting up a decision by Broncos coach Chris Pederson to go for two.

Boise State ran the “Statue of Liberty” play and upset the Sooners.


Fiesta Bowl 4 Dec. 26, 1975
No. 7 Arizona State 17, No. 6 Nebraska 14

This would go down as legendary Sun Devils coach Frank Kush’s best work at the helm in Tempe. ASU was 11-0 champions of the WAC going up against the then-powerhouse 10-1 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Although these teams were separated by just one spot in the rankings, the Sun Devils were considered underdogs. After trailing 14-3, ASU scored 14 straight points and secured the upset.

The Sun Devils finished No. 2 in the AP polls, the highest ever in program history.

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No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 9 Oklahoma State to square off in Fiesta Bowl