Oklahoma State Cowboys at (20) Oklahoma Sooners (-21, 60.5 o/u)
The Oklahoma State Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners have both had relatively disappointing seasons. But both will look to finish strong with a win over their in-state rival when they square off at Memorial Stadium in Norman tomorrow (3:30 p.m. Eastern).
The Cowboys are 5-6 on the year, and have lost five straight, all against Big 12 opponents. They have been dreadful on the road all year, going just 1-3, with the lone win coming against Big 12 basement-dwellers Kansas. They have lost at Kansas State, Baylor, and TCU. Their worst home loss of the year as a 24-point defeat at the hands of West Virginia. Just one week prior, the Cowboys hand been ranked 15th in the nation, then they were blown-out 34-10 at home by the Mountaineers as one-point favorites.
Before last week’s loss to Baylor, the offense had failed to score more than 14 points in four straight games. Freshman Mason Rudolph replaced junior Daxx Garman at QB for the game against Baylor and injected some life into the offense as the Cowboys fell 49-28. The team has yet to name a starter for tomorrow’s tilt.
“Looks like he played OK,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said of Rudolph. “He made some mistakes. He had a couple of poor throws. Obviously, he made a mistake there at the end on the interception. I thought he handled himself well.”
The Sooners are 8-3 on the year with a 5-3 record inside the Big 12. Their record looks respectable, until you remember that they entered the season ranked No. 4 in the country.
For a third straight game, the Sooners will be without starting QB Trevor Knight due to a spine injury. Inevitably, Knight’s absence means the run-heavy Sooners will rely on running back Samaje Perine. Two weeks ago, Perine set an FBS single-game record with 427 rushing yards in a 44-7 win over Kansas. (Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, the previous record holder, didn’t get to enjoy the glory for long. He set the former record – 408 yards – earlier this season against Nebraska.)
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops knows that much of the credit for the Sooners’ success on the ground goes to the offensive line.
“They’ve played really consistently,” coach Stoops said about his O-line. “They’ve played great. They’ve demonstrated their ability to pass protect, and to run block. They’ve got the size. They’ve been on the field the whole time. They’ve demonstrated a lot. Those scouts coming through really like them.”
Perine and the Sooners could be poised to put up more big numbers tomorrow. Oklahoma State has the 99th ranked defense in the country, giving up 31.7 points per game and over 155 yards on the ground.
Oklahoma is a 21-point favorite and the over/under is at 60.5.
(Photo credit: Julie Lazalier Harvey [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)