OSU-OU: Key Matchups

Robert Allen breaks down some of the key matchups for Saturday's showdown between 20th-ranked OSU (6-1) and second-ranked Oklahoma (7-0) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.

OSU Offensive Line vs. OU Defensive Ends (and Lance Mitchell)
The Sooners have a mighty triangle in their defensive front. The tackles aren't as good as last year, but defensive ends Dan Cody and Jonathan Jackson – along with middle linebacker Lance Mitchell – are stout playmakers. They can really disrupt an opposing offense.
Cody is so phyical and along with Jackson they have great speed for ends. They are also being displaced in the defense to keep offenses from being able to double team them. With a clean shot either guy can take out a quarterback for the day. Mitchell is the key to keeping moderate plays from becoming big plays for the offense. He has sideline to sideline speed.
I expect OSU to go right at them some. Speed is best defeated when you go right at it. The offensive line has to play a smart, alert game to make sure these three Sooners get blocked in some form or fashion. It is a big chore.
Edge: OU

OU Passing Game vs. OSU Pass Defense
I beleive both Vernand Morency and Adrian Peterson will get 100 yards and more. For Oklahoma State they have to keep the run to a reasonable limit and then keep veteran Jason White and the best corps of receivers in the Big 12 from going off with big plays. White stands in that shotgun and is so quick and accurate in finding open receivers. The deep plays have been uncanny as White seems to see a receiver separate almost immediately.
Oklahoma State has to change and disguise its coverages and keep White from knowing what he is up against before the snap. They don't have to sack him, but get enough pressure to make him throw on time. Extra time means extra yards and extra points.
Edge: OU

Donovan Woods vs. OU's Safeties
As I said, Morency will get his yards, but Woods has to be an offensive threat to help him and to help the offense move the football. This will be the biggest test of Woods' game management skills, which have been so good all season. Run or pass, Woods has to produce. The redshirt freshman needs about 200 yards of total offense individually.
Edge: OSU and Woods

Cole Farden vs. OU Special Teams
Farden has the pressure on him. All kickoffs need to go through the end zone or be touchbacks. His punts need hangtime and distance to assure OSU wins yards when the two teams trade punts. It's real simple for Farden, he needs to have one of his best days ever as a Cowboy.
Edge: OSU and Farden

Jason Ricks vs. Trey DiCarlo
DiCarlo comes in with his kicking in a funk. Boone Pickens Stadium is not the best venue to be kicking in when you are struggling. The wind swirls and it is sometimes hard to read. Ricks has been steady except for a couple of blocks. The difference in this game could come down to which kicker takes advantage of his field goal chances.
Edge: OSU and Ricks

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