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Previewing Bedlam 2013

I emailed with Matt Hofeld of Crimson and Cream about what to expect on Saturday morning.



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

I emailed back and forth with Matt Hofeld of Crimson and Cream Machine about the game this weekend. He had some interesting stuff to say about his Sooners and what should be a fascinating Bedlam game…my comments in the footnotes.

1. Trevor Knight ____________ better than any QB in the Big 12.

As a passer he’s certainly not anywhere near the top of the conference. However, he has shown marked improvement from the start of the season and confidence goes a long way when it comes to the quarterback position.

As a playmaker he may be one of the better guys to watch in the Big 12 (averaging 7.7 yards per carry). He just has a knack for getting yards and moving the ball.

I certainly wouldn’t dare to rank him as one of the top two quarterbacks in the conference but I would take him over anyone Iowa State, Kansas, West Virginia are throwing out there and maybe even the Kansas State quarterbacks.

2. How confident are OU fans about Bob Stoops coaching in big-time games?

Its funny how often I get asked this question. There isn’t a coach in the Big 12 who has been in more big games than Bob Stoops, and there certainly isn’t a coach anywhere in the country who has won every big game. Pretty sure that the Notre Dame game this year was a big one, and after Oklahoma’s second loss of the season every game has been big.

Let’s not forget that many people were picking the Sooners to lose at Kansas State just a few weeks ago.

Sure there have been losses in big games for Stoops (Texas and Baylor this year, Cotton Bowl last season, and many more) but there also have been some pretty big wins as well. No one won more Big 12 championship games than Stoops, nor has any conference coach been to more BCS games. You have to win some pretty big games in order to get to those.[1. I couldn’t agree more with this.]

So, yeah, I’m pretty confident in Stoops coaching in big games and, while not all of the Sooner Nation will agree with me, the majority of Oklahoma fans feel the same way.

3. What part of this OSU team are OU fans most worried about?

All of it!

This is a very good Oklahoma State team and they’re good in every aspect of the game. If you made me choose just one area though it would be the offense, specifically the passing game.

I’m not sure why or how Walsh beat out Clint Chelf early in the season but he has clearly been the answer for the O-State offense since being inserted back into the lineup. Oklahoma’s secondary struggled against Texas, Baylor and Kansas State and now they are going up against one of the best playmakers in the in conference.

OSU has 23 passing touchdowns this season and has only given up 10 sacks. I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you this but I will anyway, had Gundy not placed Walsh over Chelf the Cowboys would be playing this game with a potential BCS championship birth on the line.

4. Who is the most important player on OU’s defense?

I’m going to go with linebacker Eric Striker. He’s a pass rushing specialist who is second on the team in sacks (3.5). He’s extremely disruptive in the offensive backfield and absolutely must continue his stellar season on Saturday. Oklahoma can’t afford to give Chelf time in the pocket, nor can they afford to allow him to make big gains on the ground.

Striker will play a huge role in OU’s success or failure in defending the Cowboys’ passing attack, and he’ll draw the extra responsibility of providing run support as well.

5. Why is a 9-2 OU team a 11-point dog to Oklahoma State?

Because of what the Sooners did (or didn’t do) against Texas and Baylor. To this point of the season Oklahoma has not proven that they deserve to be mentioned in the race for the conference championship.

They have absolutely no chance of winning the Big 12, regardless of what happens in Stillwater, and their outings against the two best teams they’ve faced this season went terribly south.

Couple that with injuries, questions at quarterback, and shaky offensive identity, you get a double-digit underdog on the road against what most perceive as the best team in the conference.

6. Give me your prediction for Saturday.

As much as a homer as I am, there’s just no way that I can pick Oklahoma to win this game. I think that they can keep it fairly close but in the end they lose 27-24 to a better Oklahoma State team.

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