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Bedlam Preview: Reeling #16 Sooners take on bitter rival Oklahoma State One Last Time

In what may be the final Bedlam contest for the foreseeable future, #16 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State square off in Stillwater, with both teams still vying for a chance at the Big 12 title. With major Big 12 implications on the line for what seems like most Big 12 matchups this week, this perhaps has the most at stake between both teams, let's take a look.

Broadcast Info:

When: Saturday, November 4th, 2023

Time: 3:30 pm EST

Location: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma


Calling: Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, and Tom Luginbill

Radio: Cowboy Radio Network 1450 AM (Oklahoma State), Sooner Sports Radio Network AM 1520 (Oklahoma)

Betting Line

Oklahoma -6

Over/Under: 61.5

Tale of the Tape: Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners are coming off a tough loss against #23 Kansas. It's been an injury-riddled year for the Brett Venables squad, and it's not going to get any easier when the Sooners make the trip to Stillwater to face a tough, hard-nosed, physical squad in the Oklahoma State Cowboys that also just so happens to be arguably their most fierce rival. However, the Sooner offense is still 7th in total offense, and will for sure be the toughest test this Oklahoma State defense will face yet. Oklahoma State ranks a measly 91st in passing yards allowed, giving up 238.9 yards/game. Oklahoma has every chance to exploit this with Dillon Gabriel at the helm, and will probably need to air it out heavily given Oklahoma State's stout front seven. This being said, Gabriel can run well and the Sooners may have just found their RB1 in Tawee Walker, who gashed Kansas for big yardage last week. Expect the Sooners to truly test this Cowboy pass defense with efficiency and learn from their mistakes. They failed to do so last week and look what it got them...

Defensively, this is where the bulk of the Sooner injuries have impacted this team. Star linebacker Danny Stutsman is out, which means the Oklahoma front seven just got a whole lot less scary. They were absolutely worked by the Kansas offense last week, and with Ollie Gordon in the backfield for the Cowboys, they face another tough run game. They will need to contain Gordon if they want to come out of Stillwater with a win and are automatically at a disadvantage with Stutsman out. Alan Bowman is no Jason Bean in terms of speed too, but could still pose a scrambling threat. Through the air, the Sooners still face a tough go. The Cowboys rank 55th in passing offense, which is pretty average, but the Sooner secondary ranks 87th in total passing yards, giving up 237.6 yards/game. Both teams will probably test these weaker secondaries a lot, but the Cowboys maintain the edge on the ground and will show a more balanced attack that the Sooners will have to contain and force errors against.

Tale of the Tape: Oklahoma State

The Cowboys started out incredibly slow this season, dropping an embarrassing game at home to South Alabama 33-6 and just looking out of sorts. Since then though, Oklahoma State has put it together, notching some impressive wins over Kansas State and Kansas at home as well as West Virginia on the road. They will face their toughest test of the season when the rival Sooners come to town for one last dance. They do have a couple of advantages though, one being star running back Ollie Gordon going up against this weaker Sooner front seven. Not only that, the Sooners are in the lower echelon of passing defenses, so balancing the attack is their best bet at another big home victory. If the Cowboys can impose their will immediately and command the game on the offensive side of the ball, their chances of winning go up exponentially. The 30th-ranked rushing offense will be going up against the 51st-rushing defense, and the Cowboys will need to flex that muscle heavily this game with the Sooners being without Stutsman. They win this game with possession and rushing efficiency, just like Kansas did last week.

The real challenge comes with the defense, which is why possession is so important for the Cowboys. This secondary faces a major challenge against this Sooner offense, they have to prevent the deep throw and prevent it early to force the Sooners into running the ball, and even then Tawee Walker still poses a threat. Forcing mistakes and again, imposing your will is the name of the game for the Cowboys. It's how they got their last two big home victories and it's how they get one here.

Conclusion and Final Score Prediction:

This will be an offensive shootout that will come down to who can force the most mistakes. These offenses are high-powered and have a ton of advantage over the defenses they will face. It will come down to who scores last and who possesses the ball the longest, as well as who can be the most physical in their approach. With how Oklahoma State has performed the last two home matchups, a hobbled Oklahoma couldn't be at a bigger disadvantage going into Stillwater in regard to non-statistical factors. A hostile crowd, a roster plagued by injuries, and reeling after a bad loss will work against Oklahoma here, they must maintain composure and poise if they are to win this game. The Cowboys need to handle business as usual, and they come out with the win here, however, Brett Venables has shown he can be cool under pressure and will his players to do the same. It'll be a battle until the final whistle, a battle that Oklahoma redeems itself in with a gigantic win on the road to send off Bedlam...

Final Score Prediction: Oklahoma 45-Oklahoma State 42

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