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Summer Schedule Preview: Oklahoma State Will Host Oklahoma in Final Scheduled Bedlam

The Cowboys will close out Bedlam on their own turf.



The Cowboys get to close out Bedlam on their home turf.

This will be the final scheduled chapter of a rivalry that has been a yearly tradition in this state since 1914. That’s 109 straight years of Bedlam. Despite your feelings on the Sooners’ Big 12 departure and the end of Bedlam, this is the end of an era.

Week 10: Oklahoma

Both Mike Gundy and Brent Venables shared their thoughts on the end of the annual in-state game at last week’s Big 12 Media Days, but neither soundbite will change the fact that this looks to be the final time the two rivals square off on the gridiron for the foreseeable future. So let’s get into it.

When: Nov. 4
Where: Stillwater, Okla.

Series history: 20-90-7 🙈

Last meeting: The Cowboys were well into their down-the-stretch stumble when they pulled into Norman. Spencer Sanders had just returned late in the Iowa State game to steal a win in heroic fashion the week prior, and he made it clear that he would not miss Bedlam. But the fairy tale ending wasn’t meant to be. Sanders threw four interceptions in his final game as a Cowboy and the Pokes lost 28-13.

Last meeting in Stillwater: The Cowboys earned a dramatic win in Stillwater two years ago, before heading off to the Big 12 Championship, and seeing Lincoln Riley off to USC. Brennan Presley ran a kickoff back and Collin Oliver sealed it with a huge sack of OU quarterback Caleb Williams.

Oklahoma in 2022: Like the Cowboys, the Sooners finished their season slumping, dropping four of their last five. That Bedlam win was their only victory after Halloween, putting immense pressure on Venables to improve upon a 6-7 inaugural season before OU heads off to the big, bad SEC.

Oklahoma in 2023: There is some reason for optimism, at least nationally, for the bluebloods. Dillon Gabriel will look to build off a debut season in the Big 12 in which he ranked second behind TCU’s Max Duggan in passer rating and second behind Spencer Sanders in passing yards per game, earning him Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Gabriel will have a stout offensive line to protect him. He just needs some playmakers to step up around him. But the Sooners have got several candidates.

OU’s defense took a big step back from what was a mediocre season the year before. It will need to improve greatly if the Sooners want to end their Big 12 tenure at the top. OU added some talent over the offseason, namely Freshman All-American linebacker Dasan McCullough and former Cowboy and Big 12 Honorable Mention Trace Ford, who is sure to get his own special kind of homecoming welcome on Nov. 4.

Key matchup: OSU’s O-line vs. Trace Ford

With this being the last scheduled Bedlam, and it including the first mid-career Bedlam flip that I can remember, I think we should have a little fun and lean into this one. But this matchup could be more than just an interesting storyline.

The Cowboys allowed more sacks in 2022 than they had in five seasons and, regardless of which QB lines up behind center, he won’t be as agile as Spencer Sanders was in the pocket. The Cowboys have beaten up up front the last handful of seasons, but are crossing their fingers and looking for a more physical, experienced line that returns most of its snaps from last year and adds a pair of salty vets by way of transfer in former Texas State tackle Dalton Cooper and UNLV tackle Noah McKinney.

On the flipped side, OU brought in several DL transfers not named Trace Ford, and it’s unclear just where the former Poke will fit into the depth chart. But you can be certain he’ll have some extra motivation to show up big against his former team.

Be sure to check out our previous schedule previews: NonCon | Iowa State | Kansas State | Kansas | West Virginia | Cincinnati

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