Previewing the Schedule: Bedlam With a Fresh Face and a New Date

first_imgIn three of the last four years, Bedlam has had Big 12 title implications. The year that it didn’t, Oklahoma State won. We’ve had a frigid heartbreaker with some controversial calls, a daring comeback, a night when Oklahoma State was doomed from the start without No. 2 and a soggy afternoon that left a bad taste in most Cowboy fans’ mouths.Here are is the ugly truth. Mike Gundy is 2-10 against Oklahoma. He was 2-10 against Bob Stoops. Are those two statements commensurable or does the 13th-year CEO take advantage and finally remove that crimson monkey from his back? His fresh-faced counterpart has more pressing things to worry about at the moment like learning to captain his own ship while calling plays and replacing the brunt of this offensive firepower from a year ago.The most important question is whether Mike Gundy has an Oklahoma problem or whether he had a Bob Stoops problem? The good news it that he may have his best team since the first time got a check in the Bedlam win column.ParticularsWhen: Saturday, November 4, 2017 at TBDWhere: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OklahomaTV: TBDLast Meeting: Forgettable.In a rain-soaked affair, we saw strange play calling, fumbles and maybe the worst game of Mason Rudolph’s career — hopefully. After the game we heard everything from excuses about the weather to the way the ball came out of QB1’s hand to people ridiculously calling for Gundy’s job.The facts are that Oklahoma State couldn’t keep up and sometimes didn’t look like it was trying all that hard. Mason Rudolph completed just 44 percent of his passes and went scoreless with two fumbles (both recovered by OSU). He completed just three more pass attempts (11) than he had rushes (8). That’s not a recipe for success with this offense.OffenseThe Sooners may have the best offensive line in college football and they may return the best quarterback in the nation. Baker Mayfield’s 196.4 passer rating in 2016 broke Russell Wilson’s record for the highest ever. He may have thrown Dede Westbrook into a Biletnikoff winner. On the other hand, his passer rating was no doubt facilitated by that group of dynamic playmakers in Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Semaje Perine.Regardless, he’s the contentious, annoying, hate-him-if-he’s-your-rival, love-him-if-he’s your-own engine that drives the OU offense and the entire team. He’s the No. 1 reason that a team replacing a Hall of Fame coach and three NFL dudes was picked No. 7 in the preseason AP poll.Who steps up at wide receiver? Can a backfield tandem of Abdul Adams and Rodney Anderson can come close to sniffing the production of Mixon and Perine from a year ago? If so, look out.DefenseMike Stoops is hanging on for the ride with first-year head coach Lincoln Riley’s mentor and defensive mind Ruffin McNeil looming. But Stoops has some talent returning like linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and a deeper, more experienced secondary headlined by Jordan Thomas.Ironically, while Oklahoma State is transitioning to a three-down front — which it debuted towards the end of last season  — OU is transitioning from Mike Stoops’ rigid three-down system to using more four-down looks. A front seven that is dealing with some turnover will need to adjust accordingly and quickly as the Sooners travel to Columbus for what could be a top-five Week 2 matchup against Ohio State.Key MatchupOklahoma State has a deep and talented group of defensive ends but do they have anyone that can break out as a star this year? In order to help their young secondary, OSU’s edge rushers are going to have to put some pressure on Mayfield. That’s not exactly easy to do. The Heisman finalist was only sacked 18 times last season. You can’t allow him to sit back and make stars out of his (to this point) unproven receivers.ConclusionIt’s going to be a tough game, hopefully without the weather complications. Can we get a dome on BPS? But I predict a close game late but the home team pulls out some Cowboy magic.Summer PredictionThe good guys keep hope alive with a 38-35 win in OT.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *