Bedlam: Key Matchups & Prediction

Justin Gilbert defends the pass vs. Kenny Stills

Every time Oklahoma State is in this situation, I ask myself, "Can we really be back at Bedlam football again and did I use the last year as much as I would like to stick it to my friends (of which there are few) that are Sooner fans?" The concern is to enjoy it while you can because it won't last long. That said, I like the chances for bragging rights for the next year. Yes, back-to-back Bedlam.

Honestly, these are two teams that have their share of both strengths and weaknesses, and in some cases they match up and some they don't.

Here is my quick chart of strengths and weaknesses.

Unit
Quarterback
OSU: ------
OU: Strength

Running Backs
OSU: Strength
OU: --------

Wide Receivers
OSU: --------
OU: Strength

Offensive Line
OSU: Strength
OU: ---------

Defensive Line
OSU: Strength
OU: Strength

Linebackers
OSU: --------
OU: Weakness

Secondary
OSU: -------
OU: Strength

Special Teams
OSU Strength
OU: Strength

1. OSU corners Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert
vs. OU Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Justin Brown
This may be the strongest area of the Oklahoma football team, and it has been greatly bolstered in the second half of the season because of the clearance of former Fresno State wide receiver Jalen Saunders, who we didn't list above because he generally lines up in the slot.

Brown has been everything you could have hoped for coming from the torn up Penn State program, and Stills is a big playmaker that was the game winning receiver last week at West Virginia. The veteran nature of the receiver corps has worked well with Landry Jones and the trust factor is high with that group.

The Cowboys will be wanting to slow them down, and the best bet may not be defending OU on the back end but being forceful up front. That is another matchup to discuss. OU will get some big plays out of this group but the Cowboys need to make sure that they are spaced out and the OU receivers don't take over the game.
Edge: Slight to Oklahoma WRs Stills and Brown

2. OSU defensive tackles
Calvin Barnett, James Castleman, and Anthony Rogers
vs. OU center Gabe Ikard and guards Bronson Irwin and Adam Shead
I don't know that this has ever happened. Oklahoma State appeared to be poised to win the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

The Oklahoma State defensive tackles are playing the best they have all season, and they are creating havoc for opposing quarterbacks. When you can do that to Landry Jones, he is a different quarterback.

Oklahoma State did it a year ago with dominant defensive ends, and now the defensive tackles should help force the issue and set up big pass rush opportunities for Nigel Nicholas and Ryan Robinson.

OU is not bad on the offensive line but they are average, and OSU is becoming better than average on their defensive front and they are very athletic.
Edge: Solid to OSU DTs Calvin Barnett, James Castleman and Anthony Rogers

3. OSU run offense vs. OU run defense
Back to that question we introduced earlier this week -- what will OU do personnel-wise on defense on Saturday? We project a 4-2-5 nickel look or even a solid 4-3 with a hybrid linebacker ready to devote himself to coverage or pass rush, similar to the Cowboys defensive concept.

Either way, the Oklahoma State offensive line, backfield blockers Kye Staley, Jeremy Seaton and David Paulsen will be ready to help Joe Randle and Jeremy Smith make trips downfield.
Edge: Solid to OSU Run Offense

Bedlam Prediction
Close game that could go either way is the general prediction, but I really like Oklahoma State's attitude and chemistry right now. This team is playing its best football of the season, and they are feeling good about it and good about each other.

I think at the end that is all worth at least one more point than Oklahoma. I'm predicting back-to-back Bedlam victories for the Cowboys, and I will be love having bragging rights for another season.

No. 21 Oklahoma State 28, No. 13 Oklahoma 27

Week 13 Predictions
Thanksgiving Day
TCU 24, No. 16 Texas 20

Black Friday
West Virginia 42, Iowa State 28

Saturday @ Cowboys Stadium
Baylor 38, Texas Tech 31

Last Week's Predictions
No. 24 Oklahoma State 38, No. 23 Texas Tech 34
Actual Score: 59-21 OSU

Iowa State 21, Kansas 14
Actual Score: 51-23 Iowa State

No. 12 Oklahoma 42, West Virginia 28
Actual Score: 50-49 OU

No. 1 Kansas State 45, Baylor 21
Actual Score: 52-24 Baylor

Last Week: 3-1 SU/1-3 ATS
Record: SU 55-12/ATS 36-22 (Games involving FCS teams don't have point spreads.)

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