No.20 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have one of the most intense rivalries in college football, but their 2014 matchup is different than recent games in the Bedlam Series. When the two teams meet at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, the biggest question might not be who will win, but, rather, what will the Sooners’ margin of victory be.
Oklahoma is favored by 21 points at home, and for good reason. The Sooners have no chance of reaching the College Football Playoff, but they’re fourth in the Big 12 standings and have won all of the games they were supposed to win. The Cowboys have been a major disappointment this season, and aren’t likely to even play in a bowl game.
After losing a close game to the No.1 team in the country and going on a five-game winning streak, the Cowboys have proven to be a bad football team. They find themselves in the middle of a five-game losing streak, largely because of their level of competition. All but one game in the losing streak has been against a ranked opponent, and every loss has come by at least 21 points.
The Sooners are 1-2 against ranked schools, but they’ve gone 8-0 against unranked opponents. Many of their victories have been blowouts, winning five games by 24 points or more. All signs indicate that the final game of the regular season for both teams will be another noncompetitive contest.
Oklahoma State has done very little to stop their opponents, allowing an average of 40.2 points per game in the last five games. Even though a spine injury will force Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight to miss a third straight game, the team should be able to find ways to score.
With Knight on the bench in the last two games, the Sooners have relied upon Samaje Perine. The freshman running back has responded by playing better than anyone in the country. After totaling 213 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries, Perine made college football history in a win over Kansas. He set an FBS record by rushing for 427 yards, doing so on 12.6 yards per carry and finding his way into the end zone five times.
“He’s got the feet of a wide receiver and the strength of a punishing fullback,” Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said of Perine, via Tulsa World. “You’ve got to get a lot of (defenders) there. If it’s him one-on-one all day, it’s going to be a long day.
It won’t be easy for Oklahoma State to keep things close in a high-scoring affair, considering their offense has sputtered of late. Before scoring 28 points in their last defeat, the Cowboys failed to score more than 14 points in any of their previous four games. The over/under is 60 points.
Heading into Saturday’s contest, it’s unknown who will be the team’s starting quarterback. Head coach Mike Gundy has said Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback will be a “game-time decision.”
Mason Rudolph played instead of Daxx Garman in the Cowboys' last game, completing 13 of 25 passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 21-point loss. A suspected concussion kept Garman off the field, but Rudolph helped the Cowboys score more points than they had in six games, and he could be the choice over a healthy Garman.
Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 33-24 last year, and has gotten the better of their rivals in 10 of the last 11 seasons.
Prediction: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State, 44-21