A few late thoughts on today's Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game:
*Aside from having a busy week – I'm a very important person – I haven't written much about this year's iteration of Bedlam because of the weird confounding variables.
Obviously there's the weather, which will likely have a big influence on the game. I just don't know for whom. I don't buy that either team's style of play really fits better to crappy weather. I do expect the elements to give some capricious breaks.
*The other issue: The changes at quarterback for both teams have, to me, thrown their offenses into flux.
Clint Chelf and Trevor Knight looked good after moving back into the starting role. They lost their jobs earlier in the year for a reason, though. Chelf has a more comprehensive body of work, but he still has the same issues with accuracy and arm strength that have hamstrung OSU's offense in the past. Meanwhile, it wasn't that long ago that Knight was making back-breaking mistakes.
*Putting the two together, I'd make sure to run my QB at least once on the first series of downs to let him get hit and adjust to the physicality and the weather.
*I don't have any questions about the Cowboys' defense. The Pokes have the best interior players on the defensive line in the Big 12. Behind them are a bunch of heady ball hawks, including stud cornerback Justin Gilbert.
If this game falls solely on Knight's arm, the Sooners should probably just hit the highway back to Norman.
*I realize that I just touted the strength of OSU's defensive tackles, but I'd advise Josh Heupel not to abandon the power running game.
Texas actually had a lot of success running downhill right into the teeth of that front. Personally, I'd like to see some heavy backfield sets with Keith Ford at tailback. (Just hold on to the ball, big fella.)
*Meanwhie, I'll be interested to see if the Pokes can maul Oklahoma's undersized defensive front.
The consensus seems to be that OSU's running attack has improved since Mike Gundy made the call to feature thumper Desmond Roland at tailback and Kye Staley at fullback. Honestly, they haven't really blown me away. Roland lacks anything more than functional speed and burst, and this OSU offensive line just doesn't seem to generate much push.
*The Sooners probably have a better shot at winning here than most seem to believe, but the Cowboys are the better team from top to bottom. Unless the weather causes all hell to break loose, I'd look for OSU to pull this out in a defensive game that will go under Vegas' total of 56.5 points – something like 24-17.