Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Oklahoma Sooners: Complete Game Preview

Ricky FrechCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2013

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Oklahoma Sooners: Complete Game Preview

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    Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    This weekend, the No. 6 Oklahoma State Cowboys will look to capture their second Big 12 Conference title in the past three years. At the same time, the No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners will look to play the unfamiliar role of spoiler.

    Historically, the Bedlam series has been dominated by the Sooners and OU has held onto that tradition over the last 10 years.

    However, with last year's barn-burner as evidence, these two teams have become much closer in talent level over the past few seasons.

    Expect one of the best Big 12 games of the entire season this weekend.

    Date: Saturday, Dec. 7

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Place: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218 cap.) Stillwater, Okla.

    TV: ABC

    Radio: Cowboy Radio Network

    All-Time SeriesOklahoma holds an 82-18-7 advantage all time.

Oklahoma State Key to Victory

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    Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    Score Points Early

    When asked to throw against legitimate defenses, the Oklahoma Sooners have struggled more often than not.

    The Oklahoma State Cowboys offense has to score points in a hurry and wrangle the Sooners into a shootout, forcing Trevor Knight to try his luck downfield against the Big 12's best defense and arguably the nation's best cover corner in Justin Gilbert.

    OU can run the ball very well, which is why the Cowboys need to force them away from their main offensive strength.

    Knight did have the best performance of his young career last weekend, but was helped out a lot by Brennan Clay's 200 yards rushing.

    If the freshman signal-caller has to carry the load, OU could be in trouble.

Oklahoma Key to Victory

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images

    Pound the Rock

    In contrast to my last point, the Oklahoma Sooners absolutely have to come out and dominate the line of scrimmage.

    If Brennan Clay (or any Sooners back for that matter) can get rolling, then it will drastically limit the damage Oklahoma State can do on either side of the ball.

    With Clay churning out big yardage, Trevor Knight won't have to test the Cowboys' dominate secondary and Clint Chelf and co. will have to wait on the sidelines for extended periods.

    It may be obvious, but there's certainly nothing wrong with that if it wins you football games.

Oklahoma State Player to Watch

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    Josh Stewart

    Since getting injured a few weeks ago, Stewart hasn't been anywhere close to his game-changing self.

    With a bye week to get ready for the biggest game of the season, expect Stewart to come back with a vengeance and wreck havoc on the Sooners' gameplan.

    Not only will he be the ultimate safety blanket for quarterback Clint Chelf, but I expect him to make a major impact on special teams as well.

    Look for Stewart to gain 100-plus yards and score at least once.

Oklahoma Player to Watch

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images

    Trevor Knight

    I tried to look for somebody else to put here, but it just seems like this game is largely going to rest on Trevor Knight's shoulders.

    The freshman has to have the best game of his career and cannot make any mistakes if the Sooners want to come away with the upset win this weekend.

    Look for the Sooners' coaching staff to limit his opportunities to make a disaster and expect a heavy dose of the option (something that the Kansas Jayhawks used well against the Pokes a few weeks ago). 

    For better or worse, where Knight goes, the Sooners go.

Final Prediction

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    Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

    At the end of the day, this is a tough one to call.

    On one hand, most of the evidence points to the Oklahoma State Cowboys having a clear advantage. However, in rivalry games like this one, anything can happen.

    My head says OSU, but something in my gut is telling me otherwise.

    It could easily go either way, but I'm taking the upset this week.

    OU in a squeaker.

    Oklahoma 31, Oklahoma State 28