This year's Bedlam matchup in Stillwater will decide the Big 12 race and it could be one of epic proportions with both the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners strolling in with 10-1 marks. OSU will be looking to get past their loss to the Baylor Bears on Senior while OU looks to clinch the Big 12 title and secure a trip to the College Football Playoffs. This game will be no cake-walk for the Pokes so here's what they need to do to walk away with the win.
1) Shake Up Baker
In OU's lone loss of the year to the Texas Longhorns, Sooner QB Baker Mayfield was feeling the pressure from the UT pass rush early, often, and hard. If OSU wants to keep OU's offense on its heels and out of rhythm, it'll have to get a successful blitz going quickly and hit them hard out of the gate.
2) Blow 'Em Up
Staying with the defensive line, Emmanuel Ogbah and company will have to hit OU running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon in the backfield early and often. They'll need those long 2nd and 3rd downs to end Sooner drives before they can find a rhythm and start rolling down the field.
3) Spread it Out
In order to keep the Sooner defense on their heels, Mason Rudolph will have to regularly pass to different parts of the field rather than picking his one range and target and sticking to it throughout the drive. He'll have to keep them guessing with each and every pass.
4) Don't Let Them Forget
While the Cowboy rushing game hasn't been as prolific as it has been in years' past, they still need to be able to establish a running attitude to keep the Sooner defense honest. They won't need an absolutely dominating rushing performance with the high-octane passing game but they still need to establish some kind of rushing game in order to open up the passing game.
5) Keep the Field Short
Whether its through turnovers or the return game, the Cowboys need to take advantage of every short field they get and keep putting themselves in that position throughout the game. And hopefully the new Bedlam tradition of returning punts will swing the Pokes' way once again.
6) Out of the Gate
More important than anything, the Cowboys need to come out of the gate like a bat out of hell and avoid the slow start that they've been stuck in as of late. They need to come out and play angry like they did against TCU and show the Sooners that they're not afraid and that they deserve and want it more than they do. If the 'Boys come out charged up like they did in the famous 2011 Bedlam Beatdown then we might be able to expect similar results.
The game kicks off at 7pm CT on ABC.