Big 12 Previews

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in our Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma preview and prediction. 

Game Info

6:30 p.m. November 21st, 2020, Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit)

Spread: Oklaoma -9.5

 Fun Facts: Oklahoma State almost never wins Bedlam, with the overall series record being 89-18-7 in favor of OU. When Oklahoma State goes in as the higher ranked team they fare much better, splitting the 6 games so far at 3 each. Of course, ESPN Gameday is in town and Oklahoma State is 1-7 in Gameday games with all 6 losses being to the Sooners.

 

Key Players

Oklahoma State Cowboys

QB Spencer Sanders

Don’t turn the ball over.  Don’t hold the ball too long.  Find Tylan.  Use your legs.  The Cowboy coaching staff should be drilling these four things into Sanders’ head right now. Giving the Sooners extra possessions with turnovers can’t happen. Holding the ball too long against the Sooner pass rush can’t happen. Tylan Wallace can dominate any secondary if given a chance. He’s the key if the Cowboys are to win this game. Picking up four yards with your legs is better than forcing a bad pass or taking a sack. Sanders has shown his elite ability in small bursts and he needs to show it in this game along with near-flawless decision making to give him team a chance.

WR Tylan Wallace

Throw the ball to this man!  Wallace is a dominant receiver but sometimes his own coaches takes him out of the game. Yes, it’s fun to watch people get “Moss’d” on those deep balls but with OSU having a shaky-at-best offensive line the time to set those plays up probably won’t exist against OU. A smart move would be to put him in the slot and pump him slants and out routes all game. He can break tackles with he best of them and can easily turn those into big plays.

LB Calvin Bundage

Bundage has the potential to be an elite edge rusher but played recklessly as a freshmen/sophomore. His junior year was better but he and all of last year with a back injury.  He’s really come on the last few games and looks like he may have finally shaken the rust.  Spencer Rattler for OU has all the talent in the world but is still a freshmen and can still be pressured into mistakes. Bundage being able to channel a little bit of that old recklessness would be a good thing this game.

Oklahoma Sooners

QB Spencer Rattler

Good news for all the other Big 12 teams is that Rattler will probably be the number 1 overall pick for the NFL after his junior year so your team only has to play him 3 times.  His talent is unreal! He’s easily the best arm talent Riley has had in Norman and seems to be getting better every single game.  This will be the best defense he’s faced as a college player though, and he still has a tendency for mistakes.  OSU likes to bring pressure from all over and has a stout secondary behind it. Rattler needs to stay calm as those blitzes get close and not just toss the ball up towards the Cowboys’ talented safeties.

RB Rhamondre Stevenson

Stevenson was just what the Sooners needed to start looking like the Sooners on offense again. While he was serving a suspension the first part of the season the offense sputtered (if you want to call it sputtering) as much as we’ve ever seen a Lincoln Riley offense sputter.  Enter Stevenson.  The Sooners have a stable of good young backs but none are on the level of Stevenson yet.  He understands how to set up blocks, has the quickness to burst through holes, and the power to run over tacklers at the second level. Being able to just try to slow Rattler down helped ISU and KSU in the upsets earlier in the season.  Rhamondre adds a whole new dimension to the offense and makes them almost unstoppable.

DB Brendan Radley-Hiles

Radley-Hiles is physically gifted in every way but one: his height. It’s unfortunate because you can’t coach a kid to be taller. He needs to play hard this game and hold his own because I’m sure OSU will try to get him onto either Tylan Wallace the Jump Ball King or the Brobdingnagian (it means really, really, really big) Jelani Woods to exploit that size difference.  When the mismatches don’t go his way he also has a tendency to get frustrated and make mistakes, mostly in the form of bad penalties that extend drives. While trying to abuse him is a strategy he’s faced all year the presence of Wallace and Woods makes it extreme important for him to play well.

 

Key Storyline

This game comes down to one matchup in my mind and that’s the Cowboy offensive line versus the Oklahoma defensive front.  Oklahoma State has a Big 12 Champion level team across the board (and a playoff level defense) with the exception of the offensive line. With all the injuries its been almost impossible for them to field a good unit, and even if everyone got healthy during the bye week they are just average.  On the other side the OU always has a Big 12 Championship level team and the defensive line has really been bolstered by the return of the suspended Ronnie Perkins and the emergence of Nik Bonito rushing off the edge. If OU can just rush 3 or 4 and still pressure Spencer Sanders it allows them to double Wallace or spy the QB without really opening any holes for the Cowboys to exploit. That would make it extremely tough on the Cowboy defense held up against Kansas State when the offense couldn’t do anything but the Sooners are a different story. If you give Lincoln Riley enough chances he will torch you! If the Pokes can’t pick up first downs, and more importantly score a few touchdowns, Bedlam will get out of hand really quickly.

Prediction

Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 28

I don’t care how good your defense is if you give Lincoln Riley two weeks to prepare his team is going to score on you. The Cowboys may slow OU down some in the beginning but eventually the Sooners will get rolling and have a run of three touchdown drives in a row. With all the attrition along the offensive line for OSU matching scores will be difficult.  For me it’s as simple as that.  The winner of this game is still alive for the Big 12 Championship game and maybe the Playoffs (even the Sooners with two losses might sneak in with all the craziness this year. Having the right logo on the helmet helps a lot) so don’t look for either team to phone it in.  If the Cowboys were healthy I would probably have picked them to win but they aren’t so I can’t.  The Sooners will probably lead wire-to-wire and never really be in danger of losing.

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