Cloudy Crystal Ball: Game 12

Shepard steps back on the field for good, Sooners get to Rudolph

Each week of the college football season brings its own set of crazy predictions. Some are out of this world. Some are just lazy and will definitely be achieved. We at Sooners Illustrated have our own set of weekly predictions. See what appears as we gaze into our cloudy crystal ball for Oklahoma’s Game 12 matchup against Oklahoma State.

Sterling Shepard finally plays a full game . . . . Shepard hasn’t played a full game in seven weeks and hasn’t seen action in six games since he caught a game-opening, 46-yard pass against Iowa State. Every week, he steps out on the field. Every week, he gives it a try in warm-ups or on the first few plays of the game. Every week, he watches the majority of the game – if not the whole game – from the sideline. In barely more than eight games, Shepard gained 957 yards and scored five touchdowns. He averaged 19.1 yards per game. Against Oklahoma State, he returns to catch eight passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Blake Bell has to make a game-changing play . . . . Bell has been the – well – bell of Bedlam the last two years, running for a game-winning touchdown and throwing a game-winning pass to lead the Sooners to a pair last-minute victories. Bedlam has been Bell’s show, and it doesn’t stop this Saturday. Whether he comes in for an injured Cody Thomas and leads Oklahoma to a victory or he makes a big play in the passing game, Bell will have an impact. This time around though, it’s not a late score. Instead, Oklahoma starts slow until Bell makes a big catch to break open a stumbling offense.

Oklahoma continues its yin-and-yang defense, sacking Mason Rudolph four times but allowing 250 passing yards . . . . Counting on Oklahoma to stop anyone from passing the ball is rolling the dice. Oklahoma State doesn’t have an overwhelming aerial assault, but it has a better one than Texas, which threw for 334 yards against Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry. As a result of playing from behind, Oklahoma State will be forced to throw the ball. They’ll open up the offense a bit, but that’ll only lead to more chance for the Sooners’ pass rush to reach Rudolph.

What are your predictions?

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