Oklahoma State Football: 5 Reasons the Cowboys Will Beat Oklahoma in 2013
In recent years, the Bedlam rivalry game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Oklahoma Sooners has become one of the most important Big 12 games of the season.
It doesn't always decide who's going to win the Big 12 title, but it generally plays a big part in that race.
It's also become one of the most exciting games of the season, with two of the past three being decided by six points or less.
Obviously, Oklahoma holds a big advantage in the all-time series, but with both programs currently playing at a high level, this is anybody's game.
It's not going to be easy, but if head coach Mike Gundy and his team can bring their "A" game, they'll have an excellent shot at winning 2013's Bedlam game.
They're Playing in Stillwater
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Let's get the most obvious reason out of the way first.
This is going to be a home game for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and that alone gives them an advantage in this contest.
Boone Pickens Stadium and the Paddle People make for a rowdy environment that's tough for any opponent to play in.
In fact, the Cowboys have only lost three home games in the past three seasons combined.
Obviously, the Oklahoma Sooners have as good of a chance as anybody to walk into Stillwater and come away with a victory, but you have to consider OSU a favorite almost any time they're at home.
Oklahoma's Questionable Defense
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The number of guys the Oklahoma Sooners are losing on the defensive side of the ball is fairly staggering.
OU has had to say goodbye to Tony Jefferson, Tom Wort, Demontre Hurst and Stacy McGee, among others.
The secondary and defensive line in particular could be in quite a bit of trouble if the team's young players don't progress quickly.
Obviously, the Sooners recruit well and have guys like Hatari Byrd who could come in and start from day one, but will those young guys be able to keep up with the high-paced offense of the Oklahoma State Cowboys?
Only time will tell, but for now, you have to be worried about OU's ability to keep up with the Cowboys' potent offense.
The Quarterback Edge
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Regardless of who ends up as the starter for the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2013, they're going to have an advantage over the Oklahoma Sooners at the most important position on the field.
That advantage is that every quarterback on OSU's roster has quite a bit of game experience as a starter, something no one on the Sooners' squad can say.
True, Blake Bell has played quite a bit over the past two years, but he's mostly been used in goal-line packages to run the ball.
That's not the same as being a starting quarterback against the likes of Kansas State, Texas and other quality teams.
Considering that this is each team's last game of the season, this advantage could become moot by the time the game is played.
However, right now, Oklahoma State has the better quarterback situation, which is very important in the pass-happy Big 12.
Oklahoma's Overall Youth
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As previously mentioned, the Oklahoma Sooners are losing quite a bit on defense this season, but they're also going to be without some of their key guys on offense.
The Sooners lose starting quarterback Landry Jones, stud lineman Lane Taylor and star receiver Kenny Stills, among others.
Because of all of these losses, OU looks to be a fairly young team in 2013, which could hurt them in a big road game against teams like the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
We'll know long before this game how good the young Sooners are going to be, but this could be the Sooners' toughest road test of the season, something young teams often struggle with.
The Need for Redemption
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This final reason could very well be the most important one.
If you'll remember Bedlam of 2012, the Oklahoma State Cowboys looked like they would pull away with an upset win until Blake Bell scored a touchdown with just four seconds left and sent the game to overtime.
The Sooners would eventually win the game in extra time and steal the victory from the Cowboys in thrilling fashion.
That kind of a loss is something that players are going to remember during the long offseason and will be something that the team will want to redeem themselves of.
We saw something similar happen when the 2011 Cowboys had their perfect season ripped away by Iowa State in double overtime.
That led to a dominating 31-10 win in 2012 and gave Oklahoma State fans the redemption they wanted.
Look for something similar to happen against the Sooners in 2013.