The series between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Oklahoma Sooners is called Bedlam precisely because of games like the one that will take place on Saturday. At home, the No. 18 Sooners are seven-point favorites over the No. 14 Cowboys, with the over/under set at 59.5 points, which is modest by Big 12 standards.
This has not been the typical year for Oklahoma. Lincoln Riley’s team lost two games early in the Big 12 season to Kansas State and Iowa State.
Those games appeared to knock Oklahoma out of the running for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. But thanks to four straight wins and a conference with no other clear favorite, the Sooners will have a fighting chance to extend their conference title streak to six years with a win on Saturday.
Of course, the Cowboys are thinking that this is finally their year to win the Big 12. Despite a loss to Texas sandwiched in between, Oklahoma State has pulled off close wins over Iowa State and Kansas State to give it the inside track for a spot in the conference championship game.
In fact, with just one loss, the Cowboys have an outside shot at the College Football Playoff if they can run the table.
The Magic Trio
The Sooners are well aware of the challenge of facing Oklahoma State’s trio of quarterback Spencer Sanders, running back Chuba Hubbard, and wide receiver Tylan Wallace. For what it’s worth, Wallace missed OSU’s last game while Hubbard left that game with an injury.
But if all three players are healthy, the Cowboys have one of the most balanced attacks in the Big 12 and will be capable of hurting the Oklahoma defense in a variety of ways.
As usual, the Sooners haven’t exactly been stout on defense this year. They are giving up over 32 points per game in their five Big 12 games that weren’t played against lowly Kansas.
At times, the Oklahoma defense has flashed some promise. But the Sooners were chewed up by Iowa State’s rushing attack and had no answers for Kansas State’s passing attack early in the season, so a balanced Oklahoma State offense is a concern.
The Rattler Snake
Lost in the shuffle of Oklahoma’s two losses this season is the fact that Spencer Rattler now has the OU offense clicking. The Sooners have scored at least 30 points in every game this year and have scored 62 points in back-to-back games, albeit against Texas Tech and Kansas.
Rattler is starting to settle in, and while the Sooners have a modest rushing attack, they still have their traditional high-octane offense.
Meanwhile, the biggest wild card in this game is the Oklahoma State defense. The Cowboys have arguably the best defense they’ve had under Mike Gundy, and that’s been on display this season.
Even when they gave up 41 points to Texas, the OSU defense held the Longhorns to less than 300 total yards, as four turnovers by the offense became Oklahoma State’s downfall in that game.
Even on the road, this could be Oklahoma State’s night. If Hubbard and Wallace are healthy enough to play, the Cowboys will be able to match anything the Oklahoma defense does.
More importantly, the Oklahoma State defense is more likely to get stops than the OU defense. Bet on Oklahoma State to beat the seven-point spread and possibly win the game.
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