Dantrell Savage, RB – this game is being billed as a match-up of two record-setting dual threat quarterbacks, but Indiana's No. 1 priority is going to be keeping Savage from running wild. Savage was the Big 12's first-team choice after rushing for 1,172 yards and eight touchdowns despite missing two games with an injury. The 5-9, 195-pounder has rushed for at least 100 yards in eight consecutive games, while Indiana allowed only three runners to eclipse the 100-yard mark this season. But Indiana's success in limiting the quantity of 100-yard rushers is a bit deceptive – Indiana's foes averaged better than 155 yards rushing/game, and two running backs rushed for at least 200 yards against IU – Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall and Michigan State's Javon Ringer. Expect to see Savage running left, where he'll be running behind second-team All-Big 12 left guard David Koenig and honorable mention All-Big 12 left tackle Russell Okung.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE - There's been plenty written about the likes of quarterback Zac Robinson, running back Dantrell Savage, and wide receiver Adarius Bowman. But the Cowboys had only two players named to the Big 12's first-team squad – Savage and the 6-6, 260-pound Pettigrew. The junior from Tyler, Texas, ranked third on the team with 32 receptions for 501 yards, and his 15.7 yards/reception led Coach Mike Gundy's squad. Pettigrew caught only five passes in Oklahoma State's last three games, but he'll likely be much more involved against the Hoosiers. He's also a big body that will figure prominently into a Cowboys' rushing attack that averaged 245.8 yards/game, which ranked seventh nationally.
Nathan Peterson, DE - Peterson is a bit undersized at 6-2 and 240 pounds, but he's the player who figures to put the most consistent pressure on Hoosier quarterback Kellen Lewis. Peterson was easily the team's most productive defensive lineman, posting twice as many tackles for loss (14) as anyone else on the Cowboy roster to go along with a team-high six sacks. It will likely fall to sophomore offensive tackle Rodger Saffold to find a way to keep Peterson was creating too much havoc in IU's backfield. Saffold's athleticism will be important against a player like Peterson, who doesn't figure to overpower the Hoosiers' left tackle. But the second-team All-Big 12 pick has the speed to get around the edge.
Perrish Cox, KR/PR– Indiana's Marcus Thigpen was thought of as a man to keep the ball away from on kick returns this season, and Oklahoma State has its own weapon in Cox. The team's primary kickoff and punt returner, Cox averaged 22.5 yards on kick returns, 11.1 yards on punt returns, and returned one of each for a touchdown this season. He'll also figure prominently on defense, where he's a starting cornerback. At 6-1, 190 pounds, the sophomore is the Cowboys' biggest cornerback so he could see himself matched up against IU's James Hardy on plenty of occasions. Cox record 40 tackles, two interceptions, and his eight passes broken up ranked first on the team.
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