College Football Week 13: Oklahoma-Oklahoma State Game's Key Matchups
The most successful regular season in OSU football history is culminating with what might be its biggest game ever. With the Big 12 South title on the line in front of a national audience, the Oklahoma State Cowboys will face the Oklahoma Sooners in a Bedlam for the ages. Here is how they stack up:
OSU running game vs. OU front seven
The Sooners run defense has been successful stopping the run because of its physical front seven that can overpower smaller offensive lines. They also feature two sound tacklers at the safety position that help stop the run. However, there are two ways the Cowboys can minimize these strengths. First, their finesse ground game gets the elusive Kendall Hunter the ball in space, where he can be a nightmare to bring down. Also, the quick strike Cowboy passing game makes it a risky proposition for the Sooner safeties to cheat up. Edge: OSU
OSU passing game vs. OU secondary
It has become increasingly clear that, when given time, Brandon Weeden and the Cowboy receivers can dismantle any defense. The question in this game is whether he will be given that time. Oklahoma defensive end Jeremy Beal is a beast off the edge, with 8.5 sacks and a number of other pressures this season. In the 11 games this year, the Cowboy offensive line has only given up only 10 sacks. If they continue their stellar play, expect big days from all the Cowboys' star players. Big Edge: OSU
OU running game vs. OSU front seven
One thing that makes the Oklahoma offense so dynamic is the versatility of running back DeMarco Murray. He is their leading rusher, a dangerous threat in the passing game and a game-breaking kick returner. He is what Cowboy freshman running back Joseph Randle may one day become. Orie Lemon and the rest of the Cowboys front seven must keep an eye on Murray at all times. They have been susceptible to big rushes as of late and that is something they must correct before Saturday. Edge: OU
OU passing game vs. OSU secondary
Although the Cowboys secondary has been improving by the week, it looks to be at an extreme disadvantage in this game. This is also the wrong time to be facing Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, who is playing the best football of his career. Sooner wideout Ryan Broyles has been the best receiver in the country not named Justin Blackmon. They have a variety of ways to get him the ball, not only as a deep threat, but also in the screen game. The Sooners will put up points, but a Cowboy defense that prides itself on forced turnovers must get a few if they want to represent the South in the Big 12 title game. Big Edge: OU
These teams are almost mirror images of each other. Both quarterbacks are hitting their stride. Both senior running backs are closing out amazing careers. Both feature big time receivers that have blossomed into stars this season. Both defenses are very talented, but have had their share of ups and downs. In the end, two factors will help swing this incredibly even matchup in the favor of the Cowboys. First, a rowdy home crowd will be crucial against a Sooner team that has struggled on the road. Lastly, there just seems to be a certain magic around this Oklahoma State team. That should continue all the way on to Dallas for the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma State 48-38
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