I do believe the Oklahoma State players have seen another side of Gundy this week as the word is he has been coaching enthusiastically and aggressively all week long, along with his staff.
If you believe the head coach in his gamesmanship on discussing quarterbacks then consider yourself gullible as Mason Rudolph will be the starter. After seeing what the young freshman had to offer in the way of poise and stability in guiding the offense at Baylor, you have to know he is the quarterback that the team believes gives them the best chance to win and that is Gundy's criteria.
I think Rudolph plays well and I think the rest of the Oklahoma State team understands the opportunity that Bedlam brings in giving the team a chance to beat a rival, become bowl eligible, and change the tone on the season in one afternoon. Oklahoma is good, but they are far from unbeatable. At home this season the evidence is there with the 31-30 loss to Kansas State and especially the 48-14 loss to Baylor.
It won't be easy for the Cowboys, but it is doable. Sometimes things happen because they need to happen and after all the strife aimed at and aimed within the Oklahoma State program then maybe this needs to happen and maybe the Cowboys are ready to make it happen.
OSU defensive ends Jimmy Bean and Emmanuel Ogbah
vs. OU offensive tackles Tyrus Thompson and Daryl Williams
This is a battle between two oversized basketball players with speed and agility (Bean and Ogbah) and two maulers (Thompson and Williams that check in at 6-5, 336 and 6-6, 329, respectively).
Bean and Ogbah need to move and be quick with feet, and not only keep from getting blocked but also stay in position for run defense to keep Samaje Perine from getting open lanes inside or just outside the tackle. When the opportunity presents itself they need to pressure young QB Cody Thomas and hopefully force him into some errant throws. It is the movable objects against the less movable force.
Edge: Too Close to Call
vs. OU cornerback Zack Sanchez
With all of Oklahoma State's wide receiver talent going into the season you would have thought that Jhajuan Seales or Brandon Sheperd or Marcell Ateman would have been featured in this matchup but the young one shall lead them. Inside receiver David Glidden leads the Cowboys and has been the glue in the passing game but the big play glitz has been Washington, who has been the best outside receiver in the past month and a half.
Sheperd has been good while fighting off injuries but Seales and Ateman have been struggling. Sanchez has five interceptions but also averages giving up long balls each game. Washington has become quite the long ball threat and his freshman teammate throwing the ball has already experienced what his speed and hands can do on the deep ball.
Edge: Slight to Sanchez
vs. OU outside linebacker Eric Striker
OU plays a three-man front most of the time but they pull those outside linebackers down to the line of scrimmage, so on pass situations look for Striker to be coming. He is fourth in sacks with six behind Ogbah's 11 on the season.
Striker was the major reason that Oklahoma State couldn't move the ball and try to tie the Bedlam game last year in Stillwater. Striker has really kind of adopted the tone of the rivalry and talks up his game. Jeremy Seaton is a former walk-on who talks little and plays his butt off. He is from Cashion, Oklahoma. It could be Seaton that provides the last line of protection for Rudolph when Striker is coming, and he will be coming early and often.
Edge: Striker, but keep an eye on Seaton
I do believe the Cowboys have a decided chance, and I think it revolves around solid efforts up front on defense to keep Perine from being able to get to the second and third level of the defense with a lot of momentum. On offense, the o-line has to have its best game of the season in generating enough room to get the run game going and buying Rudolph the time he needs to make plays in the air.
I also believe it is time for Oklahoma State to get the big plays on special teams unlike the past two seasons with scoring returns for OU and a fake field goal for a touchdown last season. I believe the big play on special teams late will be a Ben Grogan field goal to win it.
No. 20 Oklahoma 28
Big 12 Predictions
Iowa State 14, @No. 3 TCU 49
No. 9 Kansas State 34, @ No. 6 Baylor 31
Last Week's Picks and Scores
No. 5 TCU 31, @Texas 10
Actual Score: 48-10 TCU
West Virginia 27, @Iowa State 20
Actual Score: 37-24 West Virginia
No. 7 Baylor 59, Texas Tech 20
@ AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Actual Score: 48-46 Baylor
@ No. 12 Kansas State 38, Kansas 10
Actual Score: 51-13 Kansas State
Last Week: 4-0 Straight Up
2-1 Against the Spread (WVU@ISU taken off the board)
Season Record: 61-10 Straight Up
40-23-1 Against the Spread