The Oklahoma Sooners go into their Bedlam matchup with their in-state rivals, The Oklahoma State Cowboys, with a lot of questions defensively. But one thing the Sooners have shown all year is that they can score points on offense. Led by All-American candidate QB Landry Jones, the Sooners have a ton of weapons to go to and all are healthy and ready to go against OSU.
O's Landry Jones Will Look to Reverse last Year's Outcome Against The Pokes
Fullback Trey Millard could be the “X” Factor in this game and he said earlier this week that he is healthy and ready to play against the cowboys.
“I am good, when I caught that first touchdown pass, one of their guys came across and kneed me in the head and that kind of messed me up and kind of took me out of my game but I am good to go and ready for this week,” said Millard. “I am going to just line up wherever they put me at and execute to the best of my ability and they have done a good job of moving me around all year so I just have to execute when my number is called.”
Calling the plays at Oklahoma is the most scrutinized job on the entire coaching staff, (yes sometimes more than the head coaching position) and Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel says that this week, Oklahoma State will give different challenges and show different schemes that will make it a tough go for the Sooners.
“Yea, they show some things that force you to block some things differently and their personnel is different so every week is its own game plan and its own entity and our kids have done a good job of working hard to get ready for this one,” said Heupel.
“Each play is important no matter how the game turns out and you have to go in and fight your butt off every single snap and that is what we try and impress upon our kids and I think last week what was great was that I watched our kids just keep coming and every time West Virginia would score, our kids came right back and executed well and put the ball into the end zone. Landry (Jones) showed great poise and patience throughout the whole game and he was decisive and did a good job of seeing things and putting the ball right where it needed to be.”
Jones is still in the process of moving up the National, Big XII and Oklahoma charts as he has now thrown for 3,245 yards on the year with 24 touchdowns. The edge goes to the Sooners in the QB department for this Bedlam game because of Jones and his abilities. He will be going against a Cowboy defense that ranks 5th in total defense in the conference (3rd in rushing “D” and 6th in passing “D”) so the Sooners should and will move the ball against the Poke’s defense. OU tailback isn’t back to 100% but says that he will be ready to go against Mike Gundy’s squad.
“I don’t think it will get back to 100% until after the season is over but I will be good to go for Saturday you can bet that,” said Williams. “I know that they are going to gear up to stop the run so I just have to be patient and look for my opportunities to break a big one. They do a good job of plugging the line so we are going to have to block well and I am going to have to run hard and break some tackles.”
The Poke defense will be led by senior linebacker Alex Elkins (58 total tackles, 44 solo) and junior defensive back and former Carl Albert high School standout Daytawion Lowe (52 total tackles, 40 solo). Oklahoma State disguises their blitz packages very well and they have the athletes to drop back into coverage and make it difficult on opposing quarterbacks. The defensive front for Oklahoma State isn’t dominating but is solid as is their linebacking corps. The key matchup will be how O-State uses their linebackers and nickel guys to cover OU’s two slot receivers in Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard. Sure Stills and Brown will have some success on the outside but the “game within the game” should take place over the middle and OU certainly has the advantage in this department as both Saunders and Shepard have proven that heir shifty moves and speed are a nightmare to deal with. Of course Jones will have to have time for them to get open and the Sooners have been able to pass block well all year even with all the injuries across the O-Line.
Many factors go into deciding games and this game will be no different but look for OU’s offense to play well and have a good day against a good Cowboy defense. Will they put up the same numbers they did a week ago? Not hardly but they will put up enough to win this game and put the Cowboys back in their place as the “little brothers” that they are.
Sooners 42 Pokes 35