Earlier this week we talked with Kamiar Mehrabian of Crimson and Cream Machine and he was able to give us some fantastic answers to things we were wondering about this Oklahoma team.
CRFF: This is going to be one of the toughest defenses this Sooner squad has faced all year, based on what you’ve seen from their offense, do you think they’re up for it?
C&CM: The short answer is “not particularly.” The long answer is the matter of fact that Oklahoma has played the three toughest opponents for them in the last three games of the season and although their defense has shown up, the offense has been a no-show from Lincoln Riley’s calls to Caleb Williams’ arm. When the Sooners’ run game is humming, they tend to do quite well, such as the Iowa State game. However, much of the playcalling from Lincoln Riley has been mystifying as well as we are seeing Williams and his freshman flaws. Don’t get me wrong, Oklahoma’s offense can get it going, but I’m not too confident that they are able to against the best defense they’ve faced in quite some time.
CRFF: From an insider’s perspective what have you heard about the Lincoln to LSU rumors. What do you feel is true/untrue?
C&CM: He’s not going to LSU. Point blank. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t offered as reported.
CRFF: It is not outside the realm of possibility that this is the last Bedlam game that will be played. At least for a while. Do you feel like that brings a different feeling going into the game?
C&CM: Yes— the notion that this may very well be the last football game in the Bedlam series already gives a feeling of nostalgia but also the notion that Oklahoma State has the chance to do a couple of things here: They can make sure the Sooners don’t even compete for a Big XII Title if Baylor wins their game (they will), and the Cowboys can also ensure the Sooners get nowhere close to the CFP once again. All of this would make Bob Bowlsby very happy. Not to mention, if a couple things go right, if the Cowboys win out, they could be in the CFP as the Sooners exit stage right to the SEC.
CRFF: Kind of going off of that, what’s your fondest Bedlam memory?
C&CM: Favorite Bedlam memory was the 2016 matchup in Norman. Sooners tried to put away the Cowboys and they did with a Joe Mixon 79 yard run, weaving in and out of traffic, then celebrating with Lebron’s “showstopper” as he walked into the endzone en route to a 38-20 victory.
CRFF: Oklahoma State’s offense is not the high-powered OSU offense of yore. Does OU’s defense have some qualities that match them up well with the Cowboy offense?
C&CM: Oklahoma’s defense as a whole is starting to truly emerge after getting key pieces back as the season went along. The Sooners JUST GOT CB1 talent Woodi Washington back, but now their reliable CB2 in DJ Graham is questionable with a groin injury. But guys like Key Lawrence and Jalen Redmond have really elevated this team’s defensive play. However, when we talk about OU football on the defensive side of the ball, it’s a mixed bag. One week, Oklahoma is getting gashed by Baylor for more than 200 yards on the ground, then a week later Breece Hall rushes for barely 50 and Oklahoma looks dominant. Linebacker play will be paramount to OU’s success this weekend. If Dashaun White, Brian Asamoah, Shane Whitter, David Ugwoegbu, & Danny Stutsman play well and make the right reads most of the time, this could be a defensive battle.
CRFF: What are some names we need to know from this Sooner squad that people might not be talking about?
C&CM: Theo Wease, a prominent WR from last year is back from injury this week. H-Backs Jeremiah Hall and Brayden Willis are always unsung heroes in this game and need to be recognized. On the defensive side of the ball, Delarrin Turner-Yell’s (DTY) reentry back into the lineup since his injury earlier this season has been a big deal for communication and overall play of that unit on defense.
CRFF: Do you think Oklahoma fans have become spoiled as of late due to the tremendous amount of QB talent that last few years? What do you think of Caleb Williams?
C&CM: I think that Oklahoma fans are spoiled in general. Is it tradition for the Sooners to win several games in a year? Yes. Do Sooner fans need to be realistic with this team at all times as well? Also yes. Now as far as QBs go— that has been Lincoln Riley’s calling card. He gets Baker, Kyler, and Jalen Hurts back to back to back— all of which are starting QBs in the NFL. Spencer Rattler himself is a heck of a talent as well. I think Caleb Williams is going to be the 2nd best Lincoln Riley QB he’s had while in Norman. I know he’s struggled recently, but what we need to acknowledge is that he has not played organized football since his Junior year of High School and now is playing legitimate D1 football. So, you’re still seeing aspects of growing pains, but his awareness in the pocket, poise, and big play ability make him very special. He’s able to take constructive criticism quite well in comparison to his predecessor.
CRFF: Biggest question mark for OU heading into the game?
C&CM: Which OU offensive line will show up, and which OU defense will show up?
CRFF: Will you miss even a little bit?
C&CM: Yes— State bragging rights are fun. It’s always nice to go to the store or gym wearing an OU/OSU shirt the week leading up to and after Bedlam. Also, I like podcasting with Micah Allen, who is an amazing person!
CRFF: Prediction time!
C&CM: OSU 27 - OU 17