This year’s Bedlam will be one of the most meaningful in the history of the series. The winner of this game will likely be headed to the Sugar Bowl in January. In addition, the winner also has an outside chance of making the College Football Playoff if the cards fall right. Last year, Oklahoma crushed OSU 58-23. Here is a look at what Oklahoma State needs to do in order to prevail in Bedlam and get the sweet spot in the Sugar Bowl.
1. Another Big Bedlam Performance from Mason Rudolph
In the first start of his college career, Rudolph led the Cowboys to a victory over Oklahoma in Norman. This is the first time he will play in a Bedlam matchup since that day in 2014, and this game just happens to be on the road again. If Rudolph can summon that magic he had as a freshman, he will finish 2-0 in the Bedlam Series and cement his place in Cowboys’ history.
2. Slow Down Dede Westbrook
The Cowboys’ defense faces a stiff challenge in trying to contain Oklahoma’s No. 1 wide receiver Westbrook. He is one of the three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award that is presented annually to the nation’s top receiver. The Cowboys do not have a lockdown corner on this year’s team, which means that they will likely be forced to give safety help on Westbrook on most plays.
3. A Big Game from the Offensive Line
Oklahoma has a pretty good rushing defense. They are giving up an average of 155.6 yards rushing per game to opponents. The Oklahoma State offensive line has been blowing opponents off the ball in recent weeks, which has led to an average of 6.6 yards per carry for Cowboys running backs over the last three games. They will need to have another big day so that OSU can control the clock and keep the crowd as quiet as possible.
4. A Good Day from Justice Hill
Relying on a true freshman this late in the year is sometimes risky. They have already played more football in one season than they ever have before, and you need them to avoid hitting the dreaded freshman wall that so many first-year players run into. Fortunately, Hill has shown no signs that he is slowing down. With just 57 yards rushing, Hill will go over 1,000 for the season. If he makes it over 100 yards in the game, the Cowboys will have a great chance to win.
5. Expose the Sooners’ secondary
While Westbrook might get more national press, the Cowboys have a pretty good wide receiver of their own in Washington. He will be going against the two starting cornerbacks from Oklahoma, Jordan Parker and Jordan Thomas, and will more than likely be matched up against Jordan Thomas. If Mike Yurcich can find a way to get Washington open, it will be another key that would allow Oklahoma State to leave Norman with a victory.
It is always tough to win on the road in the Big 12. Winning at your arch-rival in a game of this magnitude is an even tougher task. The Cowboys will need to avoid mistakes and control the clock with their running game to come out on top. It should be a fun game to watch.
*** EDITORS NOTE ***
We incorrectly stated in section 5 that Oklahoma CB Jordan Thomas was a freshman. He is a junior. We apologize for the error.