It’s Bedlam week which means it’s officially the best time of year for college football. Saturday awaits one of the most highly anticipated Bedlam matchups in many years.
There’s so much at stake in this matchup. Oklahoma State currently sits at #7, so a win over the #10 Sooners would not only send them to the conference championship game with only one loss, it would also mean they have a high chance of making the college football playoffs.
As always the outcome of a matchup this intense is going to come down heavily on quarterback play. Will the Sooners have the advantage with the young freshman talent, or will the Pokes prevail with the more experienced Spencer Sanders? Let’s dive into our final regular season quarterback matchup.
Oklahoma’s head coach Lincoln Riley has made it clear that he is sticking with Caleb Williams as QB1 despite some of his struggles the last few weeks. I’m 100% okay with this decision as long as Coach Riley uses Williams’ strength in the run game.
Williams looked every bit of his “Super Man” nickname through the first three weeks of being named the starter. But, the last two weeks against Baylor and Iowa State he has proven to make some freshman mistakes.
The reality is that those kind of mistakes are bound to happen. It’s one of the drawbacks to starting a true freshman. However, I still believe this Oklahoma offense is better with Williams at the helm than with Spencer Rattler.
This Oklahoma State defense that the Sooners are about to face is not only the best in the country this year, they might be the best in recent times as well. Caleb Williams strength so far has been his feet. I’d like to see Lincoln Riley call more plays that fit into the strengths of the true freshman. The Sooners have failed to put together a consistent run game this season. Perhaps integrating more QB runs will help get things rolling.
𝘕𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘴!@CALEBcsw #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/y55Wzvm6Gf— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) November 21, 2021
Oklahoma State simply doesn’t give up big plays. Caleb Williams on the other hand always seems to look for the big play. It will be important that this week he works through his progressions and checks down when nothing is available down the field. If Oklahoma’s QB1 can take care of the football, I like the chances of having a big day from the Sooners offense.
Spencer Sanders is a junior from Denton Texas. He has played all three years that he has been in Stillwater. This guy gets a lot of unnecessary hate, but when you’re QB1 for the #7 team in the country you’re doing something right.
Obviously Oklahoma State’s strength comes from their defense, but that doesn’t mean that Sanders isn’t a threat either. He has thrown for just shy of 2,000 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. Depending on how these last few weeks shape up, the kid from Denton is on pace for his best season yet.
Let’s not forget the kid can move on his feet as well. Last week against Texas Tech he alone out rushed the entire Red Raiders offense.
Spencer Sanders on the keeper. #OKState pic.twitter.com/r7r8j3J5h8— Cody Nagel (@CodyNagel247) November 21, 2021
In my opinion, Sanders can best be described as a guy who figured out how to play within the system. He’s not a guy that can go start at any university he wants, but he can be the perfect guy for this OSU squad.
When Spencer Sanders gets comfortable he is capable of picking apart any defense. If you remember back to last years Bedlam game he was pulled after being sacked and roughed up. It will be critical for the Sooners defense to be in his face once again.
If Oklahoma isn’t able to set the tone with their defense it could be a long day for the Sooners. Sanders hasn’t played great in Bedlam yet, but this could definitely be the year.
What’s going to happen on Saturday? I couldn’t tell you, that’s why it’s called Bedlam. My best guess would be that the game lives up to the hype and delivers a Bedlam classic.
As far as the quarterback matchup goes, I think both guys will have their moments. But, Williams has more tools around him and I think that will be the difference maker in this one. Caleb “Super Man” Williams gets his first of many Bedlam wins on Saturday.