SAN ANTONIO, Texas - It's finally game night for one of the more anticipated matchups of the bowl season.

Colorado and Oklahoma State, of course, used to be conference rivals for years. Thursday night, the two teams meet for the first time since 2009.

On Wednesday night Mike Gundy told us on our radio bowl special that the Cowboys have an aggressive game plan in all three phases, and they're going to cut it loose from the start.

One big battle?

OSU receivers like James Washington will be going up against Colorado’s talented defensive backs.

Colorado's pass defense ranks in the top 15 in all of college football. They don’t give up a lot of big plays.

Now on the other side of the ball, the Cowboy defense will feature several players from the San Antonio area, including defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, cornerback Ramon Richards and senior safety Jordan Sterns.

And Gundy loves what Sterns brings to the table.

“Sterns is a throwback player,” said Gundy. “He kind of goes back to the days of the 80's of guys that will strike you and enjoy the contact. Goes against human nature for two people to want to run into each other. Some players that are somewhat genetically unbalanced, and they're willing to do that.  And Sterns has been one of those guys up to this point."

Sterns will have an eye on Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau, a senior who's battled an ankle injury but is expected to be full speed Thursday night.

He's a dual-threat player who can run the ball well, and that's something the Cowboys have struggled with a little.

Liufau is coming off a bad game in the Pac-12 title game loss to Washington. He threw three interceptions that night.

Liufau notable in that he's the Polynesian college football player of the year.

Colorado's Mike McIntyre is also the AP National Coach of the Year.

They expect fireworks in front of what could be a crowd of 50,000.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.