OSU Football

Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard (center) heads downfield against Kansas Nov. 16. OU’s defense must “wrap him up and get him down,” linebacker DeShaun White says. 

MATT

BARNARD/Tulsa World

Defending Chuba

Slowing down Oklahoma State star running back Chuba Hubbard is the top priority for Oklahoma’s defense in Saturday’s Bedlam game.

It won’t be an easy task. Hubbard has rushed for 100-plus yards in 10 of 11 games this season. His season low was 44 yards against FCS opponent McNeese State.

OU linebacker DaShaun White said the OSU running back reminds him of former Oklahoma star Rodney Anderson, who combined size and speed.

What’s the best way to try to slow Hubbard down?

“The biggest things is just wrapping him up and getting him down on first contact,” White said. “Obviously he makes a lot of plays breaking tackles, and I think that’s how they have their most success. We get a lot of guys around the ball, wrap him up and get him down. I think we’ll be OK.”

Counting down to Bedlam

Oklahoma’s Parnell Motley will play his final regular-season game in Saturday’s Bedlam contest.

Motley, who is from Washington D.C., learned all about Bedlam upon his arrival in Norman.

“It’s crazy, man, my last Bedlam. I remember my first one, I wasn’t necessarily playing in it but to see the experience and the culture and the tradition going on that led to it all (now) to my final year to be blessed and a part and even playing in it, so I’m going to play in this one like it’s my first one,” he said.

What is Motley’s favorite Bedlam memory?

“I just love the way we always fight when we play against a rivalry like Oklahoma State. At the end of the day, they play like a different team when they play us,” he said. “It’s a rivalry game, you get the best out of Oklahoma State when they play us. So I’m just glad to be a part of this series, man, and hold a winning record against these guys. I’m glad to be a part of it, we’ve just got to hold and keep going and not look over this and play hard and let’s get a W.”

Rotations not ideal

When the season started, defensive coordinator Alex Grinch began playing many rotations early in games to help evaluate and provide depth on that side of the ball.

As the season gets down to crunch time, there hasn’t been as many rotations as the coach would like.

“As the stakes get higher and you get in the month of November, we’re in the business of competing for a championship now. Your level of play needs to match,” Grinch said. “To say it’s going to exceed the first group, that would turn you into a one. In any event, if there’s any lack or dip in production or dip from a trust standpoint, this isn’t the time. The tryouts are over.

“There are some guys that have really taken advantage of the opportunities they’ve had over the course of the year, and there are guys that haven’t. So no, it speaks to some of the depth concerns that we have. But in any event, that’s more off-season talk, but no, we’d like to rotate more.”

Grinch honored

Grinch has been named one of 15 semifinalists for the Frank Broyles Award, which is presented to college football’s top assistant coach.

Grinch, in his first season, has vastly improved the Sooners defense. Last year, OU ended up No. 114 in total defense (453.8 yards allowed per game). This season, Oklahoma ranks No. 31 in total defense (336.2). The pass defense ended last at No. 129 in 2018 (294.0 yards per game) and now sits at No. 26 (194.9 ypg).

The last Oklahoma coach to win the Broyles Award was Lincoln Riley, who won the 2015 award during his first season as OU’s offensive coordinator.

On the call

Saturday’s 7 p.m. Bedlam game will be broadcast on FOX.

Joe Davis (play-by-play), Brock Huard (analyst) and Bruce Feldman (sideline) will be on the call for the network.

Eric Bailey

918-581-8391

eric.bailey@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

Sports Writer

Eric covers the University of Oklahoma football and men’s basketball teams. A Haskell Indian Nations University graduate, he has been a member of the Tulsa World sports staff for 12 years. Phone: 918-581-8391