Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma football is one of the most anticipated games on Saturday with conference and playoff implications.
Oklahoma versus Oklahoma State will be one of the most anticipated games on Saturday and this annual rivalry in the Big 12 rarely disappoints, even if it has been a very one-sided series in the last 15 years.
Oklahoma State enters this game as the highest ranked team in the Big 12 and is the lone team in the conference that even has a prayer of trying to make the College Football Playoff. Yet, the Cowboys come into this game as a near touchdown underdog to the team that has won 13 of the last 15 in the rivalry that is simply known as “Bedlam”.
Oklahoma did not get off to the kind of start it needed to with back-to-back losses to Big 12 opponents Kansas State and Iowa State, but the Sooners look to be hitting their stride and making big improvements since then. Spencer Rattler has stopped turning the ball over and the defense has finally learned how to tackle in space and get stops on defense. It’s easy to see why the Sooners enter this game as the favorite based on how they’re playing.
I thought that Oklahoma State would be the best team in the conference heading into the season, but how they have gotten here has been the opposite of how I expected. The Cowboys are winning with their defense, which has been one of the most improved in the country, instead of their offense, which still has a lot of potential and firepower. The Cowboys come in with just one loss, a statistically unlikely defeat to Texas, and they need to win this game in the worst way.
Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy has gone just 2-13 against Oklahoma in his tenure in Stillwater. That is a mark that has frustrated Oklahoma State fans and the Cowboys have lost this game even when it looks like they have the superior team with more at stake. Oklahoma State has more at stake, but an argument can be made for who is the better team at this point in the season.
Here’s how you can watch Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State on Saturday night:
Keys to Victory
For the Oklahoma offense, it will be about running the ball. Rattler has shown that he has the ability to make plays and the receiving corps from the Sooners is starting develop, but the run game has been a struggle at times this season. Oklahoma State has a very good secondary and they could make it tough for the Sooners if they are not able to run the ball and make Rattler make every play through the air.
For the Oklahoma defense, it will be about forcing turnovers. Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders is one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the country, even if he is very talented. Turnovers cost the Cowboys the game against Texas and if the Sooners can force multiple turnovers on Saturday night, expect an Oklahoma victory.
For the Oklahoma State offense, they will need to be better on the ground. Chuba Hubbard is one of the best players in college football, but he has not been the most efficient of backs this season, which has led to some of the bad play from what is otherwise a very talented offense. Hubbard needs a breakout game so that it is not all on Spencer Sanders shoulders.
For the Oklahoma State defense, the have to do their best to not give up the big play. Rattler has one of the most electric arms in the country and wants to push the ball down the field. If the Cowboys can make him earn every throw against their terrific secondary, they will have a chance in this one.
All lines are provide courtesy of The Action Network
Spread: Oklahoma -7
In the preseason, I had Oklahoma State winning the conference and having a shot at making the playoff. To do that, they will need to win out and hope they can have a little luck on their side. The Cowboys have yet to play a complete game on offense and have had to have their defense bail them out at times this season.
Oklahoma has been hitting its stride lately, winning four in a row and looking much better on defense than it did at the beginning of the year.
While I would love to stick with the Cowboys, I don’t trust Gundy in big games against Oklahoma and this offense just is not clicking how I thought it would. I think Oklahoma is just a better football team at this point in the season and the Sooners have history on their side in this rivalry.
Final Score: Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 28