Oklahoma-OSU Pregame Notes

No. 13 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-1) and Oklahoma State (6-5, 3-4) will kickoff at 1:40 p.m. Saturday in Stillwater. The Sooners lead the all-time series 77-16-7 and 34-6-5 in Stillwater. With a win, OU will advance to next weekend's Big 12 title game in Kansas City. See inside for more pregame notes, including quotes from Bob Stoops, Kevin Wilson, Brent Venables and Mike Gundy on the matchup.

1:40 p.m. CST. -- Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006 -- Boone Pickens Stadium (43,500) -- Stillwater, Okla.

Saturday's game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net. Bill Land (play-by-play), Gary Reasons (analyst), Emily Jones (sideline) and Jim Knox (sideline) will call the game. The game can be heard on the radio in Oklahoma on KOKC 1520 AM. It is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 155.

Live Stats

The Rankings
The Sooners are ranked No. 13 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll. Oklahoma State is unranked.

The Coaches
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is 84-18 in his eighth season in Norman and 5-2 against the Cowboys. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, the brother of OU running backs coach Cale Gundy, is 10-12 in his second season in Stillwater and 0-1 head-to-head versus Stoops.

The Series
Oklahoma leads the all-time series 77-16-7 overall and 34-6-5 in Stillwater. However, the matchup has been much closer in the last 11 years with the Sooners holding only a 6-5 edge.

Recently, the Sooners have had a tough time in Stillwater under Stoops. Oklahoma is 2-1 in under Stoops at Boone Pickens Stadium, but the last three meetings have been tight with OU winning 12-7 in 2000, losing 28-28 in 2002 and winning 38-35 in 2004.

Last Meeting
Oklahoma stretched their Bedlam winning streak to three games with a 42-19 rout in Norman last November. Oklahoma jumped out to a 21-0 lead behind a 27-yard touchdown run by Allen Patrick and touchdown passes from Rhett Bomar to Juaquin Iglesias and James Moses.

The Cowboys would cut the lead to 21-7 at halftime, but Adrian Peterson erupted for touchdown runs of 84 and 71 yards in the second half and the rout was on. Peterson, who will not play on Saturday, finished with 237 yards.

Oklahoma's defense held the Cowboys to just 139 yards of total offense and 13 rushing yards on 32 carries.

The Matchup
The Sooners (9-2, 6-1) come into Saturday's on a six-game winning streak and a little extra incentive after Texas' 12-7 loss to Texas on Friday. With a win, the Sooners would clinch the Big 12 South title and advance to next weekend's conference title game against Nebraska in Kasnas City. On the other hand, the Cowboys (6-5, 3-4), who are 4-1 at home season, need a win to secure a bowl bid.

The key matchup to watch Saturday is how Oklahoma's defense, which is tops in the Big 12 in both total and scoring defense, stacks up against a Cowboy offense that is second in the conference in scoring, first in rushing and third in total offense.

Oklahoma State quarterback Bobby Reid ranks 14th nationally in passing efficiency while running back Antrell Savage ranks third in the conference in rushing. Receiver Adarius Bowman is fifth nationally in receiving yards per game and tops in the Big 12.

On the other side of the ball, Oklahoma should be able to put points on the board if the season statistics hold up. The Sooners are 23rd nationally in scoring offense and 34th in total offense, while the Cowboys enter Saturday's game 80th in scoring defense and 92nd in total defense.

One key matchup to watch when Oklahoma has the ball is the Sooners' offensive line versus the Cowboys' defensive line. OSU comes into the game second in the Big 12 in sacks this season (33), while OU is first in sacks against (12).

See below for more in-depth season statistics.

FSN studio analyst Jackie Sherrill on the matchup
"It's always tough to go to Oklahoma State and play. I always felt having the people so close to you made a big difference. At times, I thought they could reach out and slap you.

"But what you look for in this game is you're looking for Oklahoma State's skill people to make plays, and they certainly have an abundance of skill people. It's going to come down to Bobby Reid and what can he do, and Oklahoma defending Bobby Reid.

"With a kid like Bobby you're better off keeping him in the pocket than you are trying to flush him. I'm sure they've spent a lot of time this week with their defensive ends making sure they contain him and make him throw out of the pocket.

"On Oklahoma's side, Paul Thompson is a young man that just amazes me every week. What I saw of him in two-a-days and how he's progressed week after week is really amazing. I'm not for sure that that kid, when it's all said and done, really shouldn't be MVP of the conference.

"I'd have to pick Oklahoma, because of how well they're playing. If you do the stats work and you didn't know anything about either team, you'd certainly pick Oklahoma because of what the stats show. But knowing each team and how tough it is in Stillwater, you'd have to move that game a little closer. You're still going to have to give Oklahoma the edge and when you say the edge, I'm looking at three points."

FSN studio analyst Pat Jones on the matchup
"I think, as usual, emotions will run high in this ballgame. OU, I think, has done as really a good of job as anybody in the country overcoming some certainly big events have occurred since the Bomar situation — the craziness at Oregon, losing Peterson, who's arguably the best back in the country.

"They've done a nice job. They've certainly improved defensively and really had a good last month. Both the front seven and the secondary have settled down. I've been really impressed with what their offensive line's been doing. They're down to the fourth tailback and he's playing well, but those offensive linemen have continued to play tough and come off the ball. I think they're really at the peak of their game right now.

"But I picked Oklahoma State 24-21. I think they're going to have a hard time getting (Adarius) Bowman down. If Oklahoma State can just make a few plays defensively and can hold up there, I think Bowman is fixing to have a real big day."

About Oklahoma State
Offensively, the Cowboys currently rank 7th nationally in scoring offense (36.64 ppg) and 14th in total offense (413.27 ypg). They are 64th nationally in passing offense (197.09 ypg) and 7th in rushing offense (216.18 ypg).

Defensively, OSU is 80th in scoring defense (25.0 ppg) and 92nd in total defense (376.5 ypg). They are 72nd in rushing defense (141.91 ypg) and 101st in passing defense (234.64 ypg).

Punter Matt Fodge is second nationally with a 46.1 average (long of 72). Kicker Jason Ricks is 8-for-10 on field goals (long of 53) and 40-for-42 on extra points.

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

About Oklahoma
Offensively, the Sooners currently rank 23rd nationally in scoring offense (30.36 ppg) and 34th in total offense (375.73 ypg). They are 71st in passing offense (191.55 ypg) and 16th in rushing offense (184.18 ypg).

Defensively, Oklahoma is 19th in scoring defense (15.55 ppg) and 10th nationally and tops in the Big 12 in total defense (265.00 ypg). The Sooners are 20th in rushing defense (97.18 ypg) and 18th in passing defense (167.82 ypg).

Punter Michael Cohen averages 41.2 yards per punt, while Mike Knall averages 33.1. Kicker Garrett Hartley is 17-for-18 on field goal attempts (long of 46) and a perfect 35-for-35 on extra points.

Roster | Depth Chart | Stats | Schedule/Results | Notes

Bob Stoops on OSU
"Excited. It's just another rivalry for us going up north and playing Oklahoma State — an in-state rival. Exciting game for everybody just the way things have been going.

"They're a team that has a lot of balance. They've been able to run the football very effectively on most everybody. And off of that, they try to get their big plays with their excellent receivers.

"Bobby Reid has done a great job for them orchestrating the whole thing and (they have) a couple of backs that are doing really well. They give you the dimensions that you've got to be aware of both (running and passing attack).

"For us, we begin with the running game. We're going to have to be great there and then be solid in our coverage and try and make him uncomfortable when he is trying to throw.

"Just a team that likes to load the box and take away the run game (on OSU's defense). Aggressive. Change up their coverages. But they're fairly aggressive in trying to take away your run game, blitz you.

"They do a nice job. They mix up their man and three-deep coverages. They throw in some two-deep and try and change it up on you."

Kevin Wilson on OSU's Defense
"Very similar defense to ours. Not exactly like it all the time, but a lot of similar things with how they load the box like our defense does, how they like to blitz like our defense does with zone principles.

"With coach (Vance) Bedford coming out of the pro's, it's pro style (defense) with multiple looks, multiple blitz looks and multiple coverages with it.

"They have a lot of fast, pretty good athletes that are running around. Having seen them four previous times, they run around and fly around as fast in our game as they do all year.

"A fair amount of blitz pressure out of the zone. A style of zone pressure defense, whether it be a three-deep or two-deep. They mix their coverages up when they blitz, which is a little more difficult where some people don't.

"Not only do they bring pressure, but they force your quarterback to see coverages and understand where to go with the ball. They force you to identify and re-direct and pick up blitzes as best as you can.

"(They have) a loaded box always in normal downs with fast corners out there playing a lot of one-on-one. They pick their spots to go to two-deep, but they really like to involve their safety down whether it's in some type of eight-man or nine-man front.

"I think they've created, I don't know the exact number, 33 or 34 sacks. We counted up today 14 sacks on third and 10-plus. They really come at you on third down and create pressure, whether it be from blitzing or whether it is from the the rush."

Brent Venables on OSU's Offense
"This will be a different type of challenge than what we've seen the last two weeks. They've got the combination of the physicalness that say a Texas brings in their run game.

"It forces you to be physical and meet the challenge in that regard. And, of course, they have the ability to spread you out and attack you vertically and quickly underneath in all their screens and things of that nature. It's a combination of a couple different offenses that really forces you to be really good at a lot of things.

"They're very effective at running the football. That's probably, as much as anything, the improvement that they've made from a year ago is the consistency of how they're running the football this year.

"He's (OSU QB Bobby Reid) got a big arm. Explosive runner. He's like a running back with the ball in his hands. Tremendous speed, can allude the rush.

"When you have good coverage he can break a defense down pretty quickly. He's got great weapons to get the ball to as well."

Mike Gundy on Oklahoma
"Big week. Everybody is aware of Bedlam. We're back to work this week playing a very good football team. A much improved team, in my opinion, from early in the season up through last week.

"They've gotten better and obviously put themselves in position to complete with probably just about anybody in the country if they play well. We've got our work cut out for us, but we're looking forward to it.

"The truth is is that this is a big game. Everybody says it's one game. Coaches say that. We want to prepare our team like it's one game, but we train year 'round and we have goals. We want to be eligible for postseason play, we want to win the South and we want to beat OU. I don't think there's any secret in that.

"I don't think there's any question that our players feel like that we can compete and win the game. I think everybody understands what we have to do to be successful and win the game.

"Our guys will be ready to play and they'll want to win this football game for two reasons. The first reason is they should want to win every football game we play because that's what we do. And the second is it's a big game for them because it's an in-state rival.

"I've been impressed with, I don't know names, but the guy that rushed for a bunch of yards (Allen Patrick) and the guy that played out here the other day against Tech (Chris Brown). I thought he did a good job of running. He made some nice runs in space.

"They're trying to run the ball effectively and it looks like to me that Paul (Thompson) has played well in what they've asked him to do."

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