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Oklahoma will be wanting to exact some revenge on in-state rival No. 22 Oklahoma State when it plays host to the Cowboys in the annual Bedlam series in Norman, Oklahoma, on Saturday. This showdown provides the Sooners with one final opportunity to build some hope for their fans as a miserable 2022 season comes to a close. After reaching 11-2 last season, Oklahoma is 5-5 and fighting for bowl eligibility, and the Sooners’ nine-game winning streak against West Virginia was snapped last week in a 23-20 loss after allowing backup quarterback Garrett Greene to rush for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
Oklahoma State has slowed down because of injuries on defense but remains a contender in the Big 12 Championship Game race with a 7-3 record. The Cowboys edged Iowa State 20-14 as quarterback Spencer Sanders came off the bench to lead a pair of scoring drives while throwing for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Oklahoma has dominated Bedlam, historically, holding a 90-19-7 advantage and a 14-2 winning record against Mike Gundy entering 2021. Gundy, however, edged the Sooners 37-33 last season in what proved to be Lincoln Riley’s final game to knock Oklahoma out of the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time since it was reinstituted. Now, Gundy tries to string together his first winning streak against the Sooners since he took over in 2005.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 19 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium — Norman, Oklahoma
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Two broken teams: Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State expected to rank among the leading competitors for the Big 12 championship. However, Oklahoma is officially out of the mix after clinching its first losing record in conference play since 1998. Oklahoma State is still live in the race, but injuries have decimated what was once one of the better teams in the Big 12. The Cowboys lost to Kansas with quarterback Spencer Sanders out of the lineup, and had to reinsert Sanders to escape Iowa State. The result of this game could depend on which Oklahoma State players are healthy enough to play.
Disappointing Sooners: Oklahoma has been one of the most underwhelming teams in college football in Brent Venables’ first season. Far too many key stats include “since 1998,” the year before Bob Stoops took over the program when the Sooners were wandering in the wilderness. Nearly every major aspect of Oklahoma has collapsed under Venables, including a defense that now ranks No. 94 in scoring defense and No. 109 in total defense. However, losing to Oklahoma State in consecutive seasons would be the ultimate shame for a program that has not dropped consecutive games to the Pokes since 2002.
Opposite styles: Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have found different recipes for building consistency on offense. Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in rushing offense at 221.4 yards per game behind more than 1,100 yards for running back Eric Gray. Oklahoma State, conversely, is totally reliant on quarterback Spencer Sanders to make the offense go. Sanders ranks top 25 nationally in individual total offense and leads an OSU squad that ranks second in the Big 12 in passing offense. The gap in experience and poise between the Bedlam signal-callers could make all the difference.
Oklahoma has wins over Kansas with a backup quarterback and Iowa State, the only team with a worse record in conference play than the Sooners. OU has dominated Oklahoma State over the Gundy era, but this is the worst Sooners team in 25 years. There’s no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. Prediction: Oklahoma State +7.5
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 12, and which top-20 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $3,000 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.
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