Bedlam Key Matchups, Predictions

Friday, November 23rd 2012, 10:39 pm
By: News 9


Oklahoma State fans don't like Norman very much, which should come as no surprise.

OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken made headlines earlier in the week with a few colorful remarks that help to encapsulate the overall feelings of Cowboy nation on the matter.

"The bottom line is we live in the Sooner state," Monken said, "so that alone (ticks) you off quite a bit."

The Cowboys have long been in the shadow of their Bedlam rivals in this series but that trend has slowly stated to turn under Mike Gundy.

The reigning national coach of the year has pieced together one of the most overlooked coaching jobs in the country in 2012, as the Pokes have overcome early-season letdowns against Arizona and Texas to enter Bedlam as arguably the conference's hottest team at 7-3 with an outside chance still at defending their Big 12 title despite a rash of injuries.

For all the good that has come the Cowboys' way under Gundy's leadership, one thing in particular has eluded this program – A victory in Norman.

The games have been close in Stillwater, other than last season's 44-10 drubbing by the Cowboys, but the series hasn't had quite the same balance in Cleveland County. OSU lost 42-14 in 2005, 49-17 in '07 and a head-scratching 27-0 in '09 before playing back-to-back years in Boone Pickens Stadium.

11/20/12 RELATED STORY: Oklahoma State: Strength And Weaknesses

Gundy has been touting this year's defense as the best he's ever had and it has been playing that way the past few weeks. If the defense can shut down OU's inconsistent run game and pressure Landry Jones, it would go a long way toward taking the pressure off Clint Chelf and the Cowboy offense. With the way the offense has been playing lately, expect a heavy dose of Joseph Randle and a balanced passing attack. The Cowboys have been better in the trenches and that could help dictate the flow of this game on both sides of the ball.

Oklahoma State definitely has the talent to pull off a victory at Oklahoma on Saturday and this might just be the year the Cowboys break through.

Score prediction: OSU 41, OU 38.

OKLAHOMA: By Luke McConnell

Historically, the Bedlam rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State has been a one-sided series. However, if you listened to the Oklahoma Sooners talk about this week's matchup with the Cowboys, you'd think it was Oklahoma State with the major historical edge instead of the Sooners.

Yes, the Sooners remember very well the feeling of being stomped by the Cowboys last season in Stillwater. They remember the crowd storming the field and tearing down the goalposts in a matter of minutes. And of course, they remember being put in the Insight Bowl while their neighbor to the north basked in the glory of a Fiesta Bowl victory.

Oklahoma knows things won't be returning to the way things used to be, not with what OSU head coach Mike Gundy has done in Stillwater. The Cowboys will always be a contender in this lopsided series now. Still, the Sooners want to taste victory once again; they want OU fans to experience the jubilation OSU fans experienced a year ago.

11/20/12 RELATED STORY: Oklahoma: Strengths and Weaknesses

In order for the Sooners to do that, they must be able to stop, or at least limit, the Cowboys' rushing attack. The Sooners have given up over 700 rushing yards the past two weeks, and this week, the league's top running back, Joseph Randle, comes to town. Randle leads the league with 1,099 rushing yards this season, averaging over 100 per game.

If Oklahoma is able to limit the Cowboys on the ground, as well as move the football consistently against the OSU defense, the Sooners should be able to come away with a Bedlam victory. If the Cowboys get the running game going, that's going to open up the passing game for quarterback Clint Chelf, and the Sooners will be in a world of hurt.

OU wants to wipe away the bitter taste in their mouths from last season, but the players are the only ones who can do it. The fans won't do it and head coach Bob Stoops and his staff can't do it. It's a new era in the Bedlam rivalry, and it's time to see how OU is going to respond to that.

Score prediction: Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 35