First Look: Oklahoma State

Cowboys bring young quarterback in 101st Bedlam this Saturday

Another week, another opponent coming off a bye.

Although, this is not a normal week. This is Bedlam.

Oklahoma has won 10 of the past 11 matchups with Oklahoma State as the battle for the state hits its 101st contest in the rivalry.

This week nothing changes. This is still a big game.

“It doesn’t matter who their players are. It doesn’t matter anything. It’s Bedlam. It’s OSU,” Oklahoma center Ty Darlington said. “We’re going to be jacked up for that game. For me, growing up a Sooner fan, it’s one you live to play in. I can’t wait to get in there.”

In his third year with the Sooners, Darlington is one of many veterans playing in this game for both sides. However, most of the focus is on a player who will be playing in his first Bedlam series and his the second game of his career.

This year was going to be a down one for Oklahoma State, having lost so much and having too many questions that weren’t going to find answers.

“It’ll be a lot of fun. We’ll be juiced up to play that one,” Darlington said. “You don’t need the extra motivation to play against Oklahoma State around here. There’s definitely that rivalry that has been going to a long time.”

The year has gone even worse than planned. Oklahoma State, having lost five straight games, needs a victory to earn bowl eligibility. If the Cowboys don’t reach the six-win mark, it’ll be the first time since Mike Gundy’s first season as head coach – 2005.

Gundy is in exceptionally hot water, having burned bridges and exacerbated hostilities with high-profile booster T. Boone Pickens as well as the Oklahoma State fan base.

The Cowboys are also down to their No. 3 quarter with J.W. Walsh and Daxx Garman sideline because of injury.

So two weeks ago, true freshman Mason Rudolph made his first start. In a way, it was both a blessing and a curse for the Cowboys. There’s no doubt that Gundy didn’t want to burn Rudolph’s redshirt, knowing he was the future of the team.

But being the future of the team, it’s not a complete negative that Rudolph was thrown into the fire against Baylor, where he threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

“He looked great,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said of Rudolph. “Of course, we’ve watched the tape. He threw the football really well, had some nice big plays.”

The Cowboys went a little bit more conservative on offense against Baylor with a first-start quarterback behind center. They’ll have a little more time to prepare Rudolph this time around.

“He’s like a lot of their quarterbacks. They’re all very similar,” Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “They didn’t change their style, maybe kept it in a little more than they usually do. They’re going to protect him, give him an opportunity to throw. I thought they were very effective in what they were trying to accomplish with him. He didn’t seem star struck or he didn’t seem overwhelmed by any stretch of the imagination.”

There’s some a little different when it comes to Bedlam for a wide-eyed freshman.

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