Oklahoma will put its five-game winning streak in the Bedlam series on the line Saturday when they host their in-state rival Oklahoma State on Saturday. The Sooners have won four in a row after dropping their first two Big 12 games to Kansas State and Iowa State. Since then, the Sooners escaped a four-overtime thriller against Texas, and then cruised to victories over TCU, Texas Tech, and Kansas. Last week’s 62-9 victory over the Jayhawks saw the Sooners pick up 540 total yards of offense against their overmatched opponents. That high powered offense, led by Spencer Rattler, will face a tough Cowboys defense that ranks fourth nationally in third-down conversions (23.33%) and 15th nationally in scoring defense (17.8 ppg).
Oklahoma State limped into their bye week with a 20-18 win over Kansas State. The Cowboys trailed 12-0 at the half before picking up three scores in the third quarter. The decisive touchdown was an 85-yard scoop and score by Jason Taylor II. Kansas State scored their final touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but the Cowboys stopped the Wildcat two-point attempt to secure the win.
OSU’s Chuba Hubbard and Tyler Wallace were limited because of injuries in the win. Hubbard rushed just six times for 31 yards, while Wallace played one snap. The bye week came at a crucial time as both are expected to be near 100 percent for the game. Sooner receiver Austin Stogner is questionable with an injury. Stogner is OU’s second leading receiver.
(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Friday afternoon.)
The line has moved slightly in favor of the visitors in this in-state Big 12 contest. Oklahoma opened the lines as a solid 9.5-point favorite. That line has moved in the Cowboys’ favor as the Sooners now stand as between a seven or 7.5-point favorite depending on the sportsbook as of Friday afternoon. A solid majority, 60 percent, of the bets ATS are backing the Sooners at home and giving the points in this contest.
The over/under has trended all over the map for this contest. After opening at 59.5 points, the number has trended anywhere from 59, 59.5, 60 or 60.5 points for this contest, depending on the sportsbook. A narrow majority, 51 percent, of the bets on the total are backing the under in this contest.
Game-time Weather: It’s going to be a mixed bag weatherwise in Norman, so that is something to watch out for in this one. Temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the high-50s. There are cloudy skies in the forecast with less than a 10 percent chance of precipitation expected at kickoff. That will change around halftime as there is better than a 50 percent chance of rain at that point with temperatures dropping into the low-50s. Winds are expected from the north around nine miles an hour with the gusts kicking up to about 10 miles per hour.
OSU Defense Faces Stiff ChallengeThe game plan is simple: get the ball in Chuba Hubbard’s hands, and keep the ball away from OU as much as possible. The OSU defense has been largely up to the task this season, and is the best defensive unit of Mike Gundy’s tenure as head coach. The problem is that OU has a bevy of playmakers on the perimeter, and quarterback Spencer Rattler is maturing quickly in his first year as quarterback. The big battle will be third downs. Can the Cowboys defense get off the field against a good third-down offense. Thus far in 2020, OSU is the fourth-best third-down team in the nation.
When OSU has the ball, it should be the Chuba Hubbard show. Hubbard is averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and has scored five touchdowns on the season. Quarterback Spencer Sanders is a crafty game manager and has a pair of targets in Tylan Wallace and Dylan Stoner who have combined to catch 57 passes for 685 yards and four scores. OU’s defense has been solid this season, so staying out of third and long situations will be crucial for OSU.
Oklahoma State Injury Report:
OUT: DT Collin Clay
Questionable: RB LD Brown, S Kolby Harvell-Peel, RB Chuba Hubbard, DE Tyren Irby, OL Jake Springfield
Rattler Rounding Into Form Just in Time for BedlamSpencer Rattler had a rough start to his career, being on the losing end of his first two Big 12 starts. However, something has clicked over the past four weeks, and now Rattler is averaging around 300 passing yards per game. He has thrown for 18 touchdowns and six interceptions over 2018 yards.
Rattler’s top targets are Marvin Mims and Austin Stogner (questionable). Mims has hauled in 25 passes for 418 yards and seven touchdowns, while Stogner has caught 25 passes for 410 yards and three scores. Running back TJ Pledger leads the Sooners with 393 yards on 81 carries with five touchdowns.
Defensively, the Sooners have held opponents to a 27.96% third-down conversion rate and just 98.6 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys will test this defense with their strong rushing attack. Look for OU to load the box and make Spencer Sanders beat them with his arm.
Oklahoma Injury Report:
OUT: WR Trejan Bridges, DB Justin Harrington, WR Jadon Haselwood, DL Marcus Higgs, LB Caleb Kelly, OL E.J. Ndoma-Ogar, DL Jalen Redmond, WR Greydon Williams, RB Brayden Willis
Questionable: LB Robert Barnes, CB Kendall Dennis, OL Finley Felix, WR Obi Obialo, QB Spencer Rattler, HB Austin Stogner, DL LaRon Stokes
- Oklahoma: Sooners are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Oklahoma: Sooners are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite.
- Oklahoma St: Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Oklahoma St: N/A