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Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma Football | Defensive Keys For Bedlam

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Oklahoma State enters Bedlam averaging 35.2 points and 475.6 of offense per game. They’ve been hit hard by injuries recently though with the losses of starting quarterback Spencer Sanders and top receiver Tylan Wallace slowing down the offensive production.

The Cowboys still have the nation’s top running back at their disposal which benefits the offense as a whole and makes defending the Pokes a little more tricky. Here are the keys to Oklahoma defending OSU.

Win In Man Coverage

In the absence of Wallace, Dillon Stoner has stepped up big for the Cowboys. He’s averaging 13.1 yards per reception for the season and has a total of five touchdowns. Braydon Johnson also caught three passes last week at West Virginia.

The point is, Chuba Hubbard will get the majority of Oklahoma’s defensive attention but the Cowboys have other guys, who will most likely be in man coverage, that can hurt the Sooners if they are able to sneak open. This means Oklahoma’s defensive backs are going to need to trust the front seven when it comes to containing the run.

Limit Hubbard’s Damage

I think that 1,832 rushing yards and 6.4 yards per carry speaks for itself. Chuba Hubbard is the wheel that puts the Oklahoma State offense in motion. He’s as close to a lock for 100 yards as you can get. Even in the absences of Wallace and Sanders he’s still cranking out 100-yard games.

That said, West Virginia was able to limit him last week and that’s what the Sooners must do this week. Allowing 106 yards on 26 carries like the Mountaineers did is more than respectable. If that’s the stat line for Hubbard when he walks off the field on Saturday night then it’ll be good news for OU.

Bring The Pressure On Brown

Oklahoma State backup quarterback Dru Brown is a fifth-year senior with plenty of playing experience. That said, he’ll be making just his second start for the Cowboys on Saturday night in his team’s biggest rivalry game. He was efficient last week against the Mountaineers (22-of-29 for 196 yards and 2 touchdowns) as a quasi game manager. Mike Gundy should need more from him this week against the Sooners and that’s where Alex Grinch’s Speed Defense needs to kick in.

Oklahoma mush find a way to bring consistent pressure on obvious passing downs without losing focus on Hubbard. Look for some safety blitzes as well as general pressure off the edge from Ronnie Perkins.

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