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Special Teams is Bedlam’s Overlooked X-Factor

Will that third, oft-overlooked phase once again be a big part of Bedlam?

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The 2014 punt return. The 2013 block in the back no-call or fake field goal touchdown. Special teams have long played a major role in Bedlam football but largely get overlooked. The Cowboys will need to capitalize off of every advantage against the Sooners if they want to compete, and special teams will likely play a large part in that. This article will break down how both squads operate on special teams.

In terms of kicking, Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert takes care of both kicking and punting duties. He’s only punted 23 times this year, but in terms of place kicking he’s been a reliable constant for OU for two years now. The senior hasn’t missed a PAT since 2016 and is 9-for-11 in 2018.

OSU, on the other hand, has had their fair share of issues as of late. The Cowboys gave up a punt block for a touchdown against Baylor last week and Matt Ammendola has been 2-for-6 on field goals in the past two games.

Oklahoma has only blocked one kick this season while OSU has recorded two, both against Boise State.

Neither team has seen a huge impact in the return game this season, but that doesn’t mean each team’s returners don’t have the potential to make an impact. Tre Brown, the Sooners’ speedy corner who has returned kicks for them this season, leads the Big 12 in return average. Additionally, his 86-yard return against UCLA is the second-highest return in the conference. OSU’s Chuba Hubbard is fourth in the conference in kick return average, and although he’s yet to score, his ability to make defenders miss makes him an automatic X-factor in the return game.

Neither team has a major advantage on paper — OSU is 42nd and OU is 51st in special teams efficiency — but as previous Bedlams have proven, special teams usually feature a number of game-changing plays at the most important times.

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