College football action on Saturday evening and a pair of teams from the Big 12 conference will square off as the Oklahoma State Cowboys grapple with the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Cowboys enter this game off a 20-18 road win over Kansas State back on November 7th to move to 5-1 on the year while the Sooners are off a 62-9 home win over Kansas, which moved them to 5-2 on the season. The Sooners won last year's game 34-16 on the road.
The Defense Will Be TestedStrong defensive play is usually an afterthought in the Big 12, but this year, a couple of teams have played defense very well so far. One team is West Virginia, and the other is Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are having a fine year overall at 5-1, and they have been led by a very tough defense that comes in ranked 15th in total yards allowed, 8th against the pass, and 15th in points allowed, giving up just 17.8 ppg so far. That defense will be tested in this one as the Sooners have scored 62 points exact in each of their last two games. Oklahoma State had last week off, but before that, they bounced back from their first loss of the season to beat Kansas State by a score of 20-18. The Cowboys were down 9-0 at the half before getting this in gear after the break. The defense was not great in allowing the KSU 370 yards of total offense, including 227 on the ground. They are 41st against the run, but Oklahoma is just 65th in rushing, so the run defense could have a better showing in this one.
The Pass defense is another story as it comes in ranked 8th in the nation. That will be a fun matchup to watch as the Sooners come in ranked 9th in passing. Something has to give there. Oklahoma State will have an excellent shot at winning if they can slow the Oklahoma passing game down. The offense struggled against the Wildcats, putting up just 258 yards of total offense, including 108 through the air. Spence Sanders threw for all 108 yards with no TDs and no INTs. He has thrown for 766 yards with five TDs and three INTs on the year. The OSU offense's real strength is their running game, led by Chuba Hubbard, who has rumbled for 581 yards and five TDs on the year. LD Brown (370 yds, 1 TD) had a solid game against the Wildcats, rushing for 110 yards. The pair of backs could have a tough time getting going against Oklahoma's 13th ranked run defense. If they struggle, then Howard will need to step up in the passing game.
Boomer Sooner Is Starting To RollIt was a slow start for the Oklahoma Sooners as they were 1-2 after three games, with their only win over that stretch coming against an FCS foe. Since then, the Sooners have been on a roll as they have won their last four games in a row, and the offense has been off the charts, averaging 52.5 ppg over that stretch. Even more so is that they have scored 62 points exact in each of their last two games. Granted, the level of defenses played was not good in those games (Texas Tech & Kansas), but still, 62 points are 62 points. Scoring a ton will not be that easy in this one as the Cowboys have one of the best defenses in the nation. In their last game, they Crushed Kansas at home by a score of 62-9, and Spencer Rattler had a solid game in throwing for 212 yards with a TD and an INT. He is having a solid season, throwing for 2018 yards with 18 TDs and six INTs in leading Oklahoma to the 9th ranked passing offense in the nation. Rattler will be tested against one of the best pass defenses in the land.
The running game has not been as good as the Sooners are 68th in that department, but they did run for 200 yards against the Jayhawks. Leading the way in that game was Rhamondre Stevenson, who ran for 104 yards and two Tds. He did not play in the first four games but has now rushed for 191 yards and five TDs in the last two games. T.J. Pledger leads the team with 393 yards and five TDs. Oklahoma will need to get the ground game going to loosen up the pass defense of the Cowboys. The Oklahoma defense is vulnerable to the pass as they rank 66th in that department, but they will be facing a less than stellar passing game in this one. The Cowboys like to pound the rock on the ground, and the strength of this defense is their run defense, which is 13th in the land. Oklahoma has allowed 24.4 ppg, which is 39th in the nation.
Stats & Trends
Oklahoma State is:
- 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game
- 18-6 ATS in their last 24 games as an underdog
- 12-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Oklahoma is:
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game
- 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games in November
The Oklahoma Sooners have pounded their last two opponents, but Texas Tech and Kansas are two of the league's worst teams. Oklahoma scored 62 points in each of those games, and the offense has been potent all year, but this will be the best defense they have faced to date. The Cowboys enter this game ranked 8th against the pass, and they have what it takes to slow Rattler down in this one. The Oklahoma State offense has been solid, and while they have not passed the ball all that well, that should change here against Oklahoma's 66th ranked pass defense. Teams can throw on the Sooners, and they have needed to if they hope to keep up with that scoring machine. The Sooners have been tough against the run, but OU has a couple of backs in Hubbard and LD Brown, who should be able to loosen that defense up. That will Help Sanders hit some big plays downfield. Defense wins championships, and the Cowboys have one of the best, which will allow them to keep this one close. Lastly, the road team is 7-1 ATS in the last eight games in this series.