NO. 7 OKLAHOMA AT NO. 21 OKLAHOMA STATE
7 p.m. Saturday, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater
Records: Oklahoma 10-1, 7-1 Big 12; Oklahoma State 8-3, 5-3
Last meeting: Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State 48-47 in Norman on Nov. 10, 2018.
All-time series: Oklahoma leads 88-18-7.
James Aydelott’s forecast: Breezy. 49°
When Oklahoma runs
Jalen Hurts has run for more yards (1,156) than any quarterback with the exception of Navy’s Malcolm Perry (1,354 yards), who leads an option-based attack. OSU coach Mike Gundy basically called Hurts an option quarterback during his Monday news conference and Hurts has been the Sooners’ top option in the run game (180 attempts). OU cannot forget about Kennedy Brooks, who set season highs for carries (25) and yards (149) against TCU.
Stat to know: 124.7
Since rushing for only 2 yards against Kansas State, Kennedy Brooks is averaging 124.7 yards in the past three contests. He also has more carries (58) in the past three games than the first eight contests (48).
GUERIN EMIG: OSU struggled to contain running TCU quarterback Max Duggan on Nov. 2, and Hurts is a much more accomplished ball-carrier than Duggan. Another Cowboys problem: Kennedy Brooks is back after gashing them for 165 yards in last year’s Bedlam.
BILL HAISTEN: While OSU limited West Virginia to 26 rushing yards, it should be noted the Mountaineers have a truly terrible run game. OU’s Jalen Hurts and Kennedy Brooks have a combined 1,913 rushing yards this season. Through 11 games, Hurts has 17 rushing TDs. In 14 games last season, Kyler Murray had 12.
When Oklahoma passes
CeeDee Lamb continues to be the Sooners’ big-play threat. The Biletnikoff Award finalist has caught 46 passes for 999 yards and 14 touchdowns. Charleston Rambo has caught 11 passes in the past two games after going a six-game stretch with only 16 receptions. Following Grant Calcaterra’s medical retirement, Austin Stogner will be asked to do more in the offense.
Stat to know: 9
Lee Morris is the wildcard in the OU receiving corps. The senior has caught nine passes in the past two games with each reception resulting in an Oklahoma first down. In the season’s first nine games, he only had eight receptions.
GUERIN EMIG: Jalen Hurts has thrown an interception in each of OU’s past four games, and so the Sooners enter Bedlam with a run-first offense. OSU didn’t steal the ball from West Virginia last Saturday, but had 10 takeaways over the three games before that one.
BILL HAISTEN: Kolby Harvell-Peel and Tre Sterling may be the best safeties tandem of Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy era. Jarrick Bernard has been valuable as a third safety, and OSU has experienced, capable cornerbacks in A.J. Green and Rodarius Williams. In the past four games, Harvell-Peel has four interceptions and 10 pass break-ups.
When Oklahoma State passes
Dillon Stoner has caught 16 passes for 305 yards and five touchdowns in the three games without Tylan Wallace. Dru Brown threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to a 20-13 win at West Virginia in their first game without starting quarterback Spencer Sanders. One game is too small of a sample size to know if Brown will be able to make enough plays in the passing game.
Stat to know: 30
The Cowboys are 0-3 this season when throwing more than 30 passes in a game. They are 8-0 when staying below that number, so it’s in OSU’s best interest to rely on its ground game.
GUERIN EMIG: OU doesn’t have to worry about Tylan Wallace. That’s a gift since Wallace amassed 10 catches for 220 yards a year ago in Norman. Another break: Dru Brown isn’t as elusive a target for OU pass rushers as Spencer Sanders would have been.
BILL HAISTEN: In only his second OSU start, how might quarterback Dru Brown handle Bedlam pressure? While Dillon Stoner is a reliable target, it is impossible for any Cowboy to replicate the big-play ability of Tylan Wallace. In OU’s last three halves of play, opposing QBs were 12-of-32 passing with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
When Oklahoma State runs
OSU has the No. 15-ranked rushing offense in FBS, averaging 246 rushing yards a game. The Cowboys have the nation’s leading rusher in Chuba Hubbard, who has 1,832 rushing yards this season. He is 55 yards away from being No. 2 on the OSU all-time list for rushing yards in a single season.
Stat to know: 5.3
OSU has a 3-3 record this season when Hubbard averages 5.3 yards per carry or less. The Cowboys are undefeated when his average is above that mark.
GUERIN EMIG: Sanders’ and Wallace’s absence allows OU to load up a little heavier on Chuba Hubbard. The Sooners still have to tackle the nation’s leading rusher, however, and that is no picnic.
BILL HAISTEN: Spencer Sanders is sidelined with a thumb injury so the Cowboys no longer have the threat of significant run yardage from the QB position. Even if his blocking is average, Chuba Hubbard can provide above-average results. He is about to become Mike Gundy’s first 300-carry running back.
Field position could be important in this game, which means both punters are going to need to kick well. Oklahoma’s Reeves Mundschau is averaging 42.8 yards per punt and OSU punter Tom Hutton is averaging 38.8. Neither team should have a problem kicking field goals.
Stat to know: 0
OU place-kicker Gabe Brkic has not missed a field goal this season. He’s 12-for-12.
GUERIN EMIG: While OSU’s Matt Ammendola is 17-for-21 on field goals, OU’s Gabe Brkic is 12-for-12. Sooners punter Reeves Mundschau has a 4-yard advantage on the Pokes’ Tom Hutton. The return game is a push.
BILL HAISTEN: Oklahoma has been better both on field goals and punts. OU’s CeeDee Lamb and OSU’s Dillon Stoner have been comparably effective on punt returns.
Lincoln Riley has called plays for the past four Bedlam games and the Sooners have won by an average of 13.5 points. Mike Gundy is coaching his 15th game in the series and only has two victories over the Cowboys’ arch rival.
Stat to know: 3
Riley has lost three Big 12 games in his first three seasons as Oklahoma’s head coach. Gundy has lost three Big 12 games in 2019 alone.
GUERIN EMIG: Mike Gundy coached this game with more gusto last year, and it almost got him a rare Bedlam win. As it stands, his 2-12 record against OU hangs over him like a cloud over Charlie Brown.
BILL HAISTEN: After a 1-3 start in Big 12 play, Mike Gundy and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles made adjustments that resulted in a four-game win streak. Since Lincoln Riley joined the Sooners coaching staff in 2015, OU is unbeaten in Bedlam.Advantage: OU