Once again, Oklahoma is on the verge of another showing in the College Football playoff and once again it’s because of a legendary offense.
Uh, guys, amidst all the panic of the Sooners putting the ball on the ground and turning it over with baffling interceptions, this team is averaging 8.4 yards per play.
That’s the best in the country and is just less than the all-time record of 8.6 which OU set with Kyler Murray at quarterback last year.
This is all happening despite the fact OU has given the ball away seven more times than its taken it away.
So, what’s the problem with Oklahoma? There isn’t one, and 1. there won’t be one Saturday when the Sooners head to Stillwater.
That, and 14 other predictions heading into Bedlam …
Now, hang on a second all you Mike Gundy haters. Piling on is something that seems to happen about this time every year, and some of it rightfully so. After all, Gundy is 2-12 against the Sooners. If Oklahoma coach Linocln Riley wins Saturday against Gundy, Riley will have more wins than his counterpart. So, while many express their frustration with Gundy, it’s necessary to realize no one has a good record against Oklahoma in the past 15 years. No conference opponent, certainly.
But the thing is, Gundy has been conservative against the Sooners and conservative in general. No, that doesn’t apply to his haircut or his fashion sense, which once again will likely include a jacket tucked into something Dockers-like.
Oklahoma comes in as a two touchdown favorite, with the better offense, the better defense and the better season. You know what that means? 2. Gundy won’t be conservative. You saw a hint of it last week when he went for it on a 4th-and-one and you’ll see plenty more of Oklahoma State taking chances Saturday.
The Cowboys have to. And they have to have Chuba Hubbard go off for a big game. 3. If Hubbard doesn’t get at least 150 yards rushing, Oklahoma State isn’t going to win. Hubbard is good enough to get those yards, but Gundy and quarterback Dru Brown are going to need to find Hubbard in other ways, too.
4. The Sooners will be ready for it. Of course teams have been keying on Hubbard all season – he’s the team’s best player – but with OU knowing Brown is limited in the passing and mobility games, there’s less risk of spending more energy on defensing Hubbard. 5. Hubbard will have more than three runs of 20 or more yards. 6. He’ll also have more than five receptions. 7. Score twice and 8. Hubbard will also be tackled for a loss four or more times.
This game is going to be all about Hubbard for OSU. That’s what happens when your quarterback is out, your leading receiver is out and you’re effectively limited on offense.
And while the Cowboys have to have Hubbard play well, Oklahoma has a few more options. Cee Dee Lamb makes the Sooners explosive, but Jalen Hurts makes Oklahoma effective.
Just like Oklahoma State, there’s not much of a secret with Oklahoma. 9. Hurts will have more than 23 carries 10. and more than 125 yards rushing.
The difference in this game will be Hurts and Lamb and the options OU has. 11. Lamb will score twice and be the best player on the field. None of those statements (predictions) are particularly notable. Frankly, it’s pretty basic.
Here’s what we know about Oklahoma: The Sooners don’t cover. Didn’t do it against Texas, or Baylor, K-State, Iowa State or TCU. And here’s what we know about Oklahoma State: The Cowboys do cover – going 9-2 this season against the spread.
But here’s one other thing we know about Oklahoma: Its scores are misleading. The Sooners were undone by turnovers in each of the games listed above and in each of those cases, the Sooners likely would have covered if they hadn’t imploded.
If Oklahoma doesn’t hand the ball over they win these games easily, including the Baylor game, and yes, despite being down by 25 points. At some points this turnover wildness has to end. 12. It will in Stillwater. 13. OU will have fewer than two turnovers. Sure, it’s hard to trust the Sooners when they’re giving points, especially up to as many as 14 like they are against a good OSU team, but Vegas knows that it’s as simple as turnovers. This game isn’t hard to handicap. Turnovers are the difference. You can point to the fact OU gets to the passer well and OSU doesn’t protect the passer well. You could also suggest OU’s offense has been its best defense, turning games by time of possession. But really, it’s turnovers. Nothing more.
14. Take OU in the first half (-7). Take OU for the game (-13.5) and watch as the Sooners take care of the ball. 38-17, Sooners.